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Big Brother’s all-time best moments

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Bold move: Gretel Kileen kept her poise during Merlin Luck’s protest during his eviction. As the   11th season of Big Brother approaches its finale on November 26,  we analyse the reality franchise’s top 10 moments.
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#1 Free Th Refugees (2004)Merlin Luck was an introverted housemate but made an incredibly bold political statement when he was evicted. He decided to tape his mouth up and hold up a hand-made white sheet with the words “FREE TH [sic] REFUGEES”. The live audience were livid at Luck’s stunt, in which he sat next silently next to host Gretel Killeen for almost three minutes. Killeen was commended for the way she held her nerve and didn’t get up Luck in the way many others did. “Merlin, are you going to speak at all?” Killeen asked. “I’m sure we’ve had plenty of time to absorb Merlin’s message, which is a valid message, and may I say a good opportunity to express it. Well done.”

#2 Turkey Slap (2006)Big Brother executives were forced to kick two males contestants out of the house after it was discovered one of them put his genitals on the face of Camilla Severi while in bed together. Severi laughed off the incident at the time, but it received huge media scrutiny. Then Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Kim Beazley both encouraged Channel Ten to ditch the show immediately.

#3 Nanna wins (2008)Fifty-two-year-old Terri Munro shocked the nation when she won the final instalment of Big Brother before it took a four-year hiatus. She belittled and had to deal with the stigma of being the oldest housemate in BB history but Munro had the last laugh, knocking off a plethora of youngsters to take home $250,000. Despite the sum, Munro still works on the check-out at Coles in North Richmond. True story.

#4 Trevor proposes (2004)Trevor, the man with dreadlocks and a tendency to cover up his homesick tears with his big sunglasses, decided to pop the question to his girlfriend Breea, after pocketing a cool $1 million as the winner of series four. The Broken Hill boy read out a poem before dropping a knee to the delight of a live audience.

#5 Belindagate (2003)An intoxicated Belinda Thorpe let slip one of the most infamous comments in Big Brother history – that her sister was involved in the murder of a homosexual man in Queensland. As expected, her fellow housemates were in complete shock and interrogated her later that night. As it turned out, Thorpe became the first housemate to voluntarily remove herself from the house. Little did she know the Big Brother website was inundated with complaints and hate-mail surrounding the comments.

#6 Sarah Marie’s bum dance (2001)

Sara-Marie Fedele told her family members she would shake her bum when she was in a happy mood. As it turned out, this proved to be more often than not, and her bum-shaking dance move became a household hit across the nation. To put it in perspective for gen Zs, Fedele’s moves came a whole decade before the twerking craze.

#7 Michael and David’s ‘kiss’ (2006)

Housemate Michael McCoy was adamant that Big Brother producers had selectively edited footage to make it look like he was kissing David Graham. The slightest mention of editing enraged Killeen, who tore McCoy to shreds on national television. “Listen mate,” Killeen said, “if you’re going to tell me when I’ve worked on a show for six years that we have edited something and it has not been edited, I would like to know who told you that.” The pair returned after an ad break looking more at ease with each other’s opinions, but it remains an incredible confrontation.

#8 Corey Worthington makes an appearance (2008)

Teenage party-animal Corey Worthington made an appearance in the Big Brother house with his peroxide blonde hair and yellow sunglasses in its eighth instalment. In a bid to change his public perception as a socially challenged, rebellious tearaway. Worthington’s best feat came when he decided to split chocolate and cans of soft drink with his housemates rather than make use of a hair straightener for his own benefit. His verbal stoush with Bianca is a must-watch.

#9 Krystal’s mum is here? (2006)

Krystal Forscutt, who later forged a career as a swim-suit model, kept secret for eight weeks that her mum, Karen, was also in the house with her. The pair spent hours making sure their wardrobes were vastly different in case there was any suspicion from other housemates of shared bloodlines. The look on Michael’s face said it all when the news broke.

#10 Bree accidently evicted (2004)

A tallying error meant Bree Amer was kicked off the show prematurely, to the dismay of viewers. Four days later, Amer was given the option to return to the house, which she agreed to, at the expense of Wesley Dening, who eventually went onto become the host of Totally Wild and land other television spots in the US . Amer finished runner-up to Trevor in the fourth instalment.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Austrian spa town Bad Ischl: Emperor Franz Joseph hidden away

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Emperor Franz Josef I in hunting uniform. Photo: Austrian National Tourist Office
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Emperor Franz Josef I in hunting uniform. Photo: Austrian National Tourist Office

Emperor Franz Josef I in hunting uniform. Photo: Austrian National Tourist Office

Afternoon cakes at the Konditorei Zauner. Photo: Austrian National Tourist Office

History’s great figures are so caricatured you could forget they were real people with the same emotions we all enjoy and endure. Emperor Franz Josef, with his ridiculous whiskers and tinkling medals, is a tragic buffoon from a comic opera. But in Bad Ischl he seems all too human, struggling to understand his changing times, strangled by rigid court etiquette, beset by family suicides and assassinations. Here, he isn’t an emperor, but a man in love with a wife who never loved him back until the day she died horribly, stabbed in the stomach by an anarchist while promenading in distant Geneva.

Was it unbearable being Franz Josef? If so, he was at his happiest here in this alpine town 50 kilometres east of Salzburg, tapping his toes to Strauss, hunting chamois on pine-scented hills and taking a daily stroll from imperial villa to cafe, where he invariably ordered his favourite Guglhopf, a lemon-flavoured sponge cake. 

The tourism business is keen to seduce you with such stories of jolly summers in a town where imperial-era nostalgia is preserved like Miss Havisham’s wedding dress. The gilded coffeehouses, concert theatres and Biedermeier hotels are all still there, but the central characters are long gone. Bad Ischl is a place to indulge in frivolity while keeping a lookout for the looming clouds of history’s that created the perfect storm in 1914, leaving this operetta-like resort an empty stage.

Bad Ischl first grabbed aristocratic attention for its mineral springs and bracing alpine air, just the thing to counteract gout and hysteria. In the 1820s Princess Sophie came for an infertility treatment that swiftly produced Franz Josef and three other sons and sealed the town’s reputation. The grand and very yellow Hotel zur Post opened in 1828 to cope with the deluge of well-heeled visitors. It still sits in the town centre, jaunty as a trumpet blast. Pot-bellied wrought-iron balconies recall the fat generals and plump countesses who once stayed here, took to the waters, and enjoyed a surfeit of schnitzels and gossip.

You can still wallow in spas in Bad Ischl, but most come for the town’s prettiness and Hapsburg connections. Sophie’s ill-fated son Maximilian, future emperor of Mexico, was born in a house on the Esplanade. His brother Franz Josef proposed to Elizabeth of Bavaria (Sissi) at the Hotel Austria in 1835. They’d only met the day before and were infamously mismatched.

The uxorious Franz Josef had his wedding-present villa in Bad Ischl extended to form the letter E, but the ever-restless Elizabeth rarely stayed. Still, the emperor came to the Kaiservilla every  summer between 1849 and 1914, cramming it with chamois horns and knick-knacks. On a guided tour, you see the desk at which Franz Josef signed a declaration of war on Serbia following the assassination of his nephew Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. The war the ageing emperor never wanted swept his family and empire away.

Now fake Hapsburgs re-enact imperial events during the town’s August festival, though none that feature knife-wielding anarchists. A faux royal couple arrives by steam train, a red carpet unfurls through the town centre and townsfolk emerge in their best dirndls. Bands hoot and bang away among the flowerbeds of the public park in a nod to Bad Ischl’s musical heritage. Brahms, Bruckner, Strauss the Younger and  Lehar all summered here on the coat-tails of royal patrons. Bad Ischl is a Merry Widow sort of town, and the waltz surely its signature tune: light, frothy and oblivious to Sturm und Drang.

More appropriate, perhaps, is the town’s signature cake, Zaunerstollen. It’s named after the ornate Cafe Zauner, famous Austria-wide, where Franz Josef came daily for his Guglhopf. The hazelnut-and-nougat cake is a sweet concoction, but covered in dark bitter chocolate like a nod to the realities of history among all the fun.

The writer travelled as a guest of the Austrian National Tourist Office.

TRIP NOTES

MORE INFORMATION

austria.info/au.

GETTING THERE

Etihad flies to Abu Dhabi (14.5 hours) and Munich (6hr 30min), a scenic three-hour drive from Bad Ischl. Phone 1300 532 215, see etihad整形美容医院m.

GETTING AROUND

Leading Australian self-drive specialist DriveAway Holidays offers car hire at Munich airport from $300 per week. Phone 1300 723 972, see driveaway整形美容医院m.au.

STAYING THERE

The family-owned, four-star Hotel Goldenes Schiff has a quiet but central location and excellent restaurant. Rooms for two from €140 ($200) including breakfast and taxes. See goldenes-schiff.at.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Vision for high-performance bionic eye jeopardised by lack of funds

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Australian bionic eye researchers fear a lack of funding will force them to drop one of the most promising research projects in their quest to restore vision to the blind.
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As the federal government calls for submissions on how to improve the country’s commercialisation of research, Bionic Vision Australia has had to prioritise its focus. It will now concentrate on low-vision prototypes.

Their holy grail – a high-acuity bionic eye that would allow the blind to read large print and recognise faces – is likely to be shelved within months as there is not enough funding to get through trial stage.

“We’re just about to fall into the valley of death,” said Melbourne University physics professor Steven Prawer, head of materials development for the high-acuity bionic eye.

“That’s where governments abandon research because they consider the research to be done, and don’t recognise the need to support the researchers over the valley of death and into the commercial world.”

According to a discussion paper on boosting the commercial returns from research, released by the federal government and open for submissions until Friday, Australia’s low rate of capitalising on publicly funded research is due to an “insufficient transfer of knowledge between researchers and business”.

Australia ranks second last and last out of 30 OECD countries for the proportion of large, small and medium businesses collaborating with universities and research institutes on innovation.

Federal funding for the bionic eye project is set to run out next year. However, Professor Prawer said for business to back the project, researchers had to prove they had a product – and that meant getting the funds to push the device through testing.

“We will hobble along for the next six months and then the funding will finish,” he said. “We will be left with fantastic technology on the shelf that hasn’t had the opportunity to show its real capability.”

The 256-electrode device uses artificial diamonds, which Professor Prawer said were capable of supporting more than 1000 electrodes.

In addition to being able to stimulate neural tissue, diamonds are also durable and when implanted are rarely rejected by the body.

Using diamonds for both stimulation and to encapsulate the chip of the bionic eye is a unique approach in the fiercely competitive global race to build a functional bionic eye.

“Our approach has a fighting chance of delivering the high-acuity that we don’t think that other technologies will actually get to,” Professor Prawer said, adding he wanted the device to be Australian-made.

The early prototype, a 24-electrode bionic eye, has been implanted into three Victorian patients, each blind for more than 20 years due to the inherited condition known as retinitis pigmentosa.

The device allowed patients to see blob-like shapes, flashes of light and identify shapes on a computer screen. However, it is nothing like regular vision – rather a low-resolution image of about 20 pixels.

Professor Prawer said with 256 electrodes in the high-acuity device, patients would be able have 256-pixel vision.

“We have done most of the testing that you can do on the bench,” he said. “Now we have to demonstrate that it’s safe and that we get the high acuity. We need the money to test it in animals in the first instance and then in people.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

The world’s top ten most spectacular bridges

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Charles Bridge on Vltava River in Prague. Photo: iStock Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwe/Zambia. Photo: iStock
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Chengyang wind-rain bridge, China. Photo: 123RF

The Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Let’s forget the famous four – San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, London’s Tower Bridge, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and the old Australian “coat hanger” itself, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Let’s also rule out out those bridges admired simply because they are the longest, the highest, the widest or the flimsiest (yes, I know: that’s unfair to China and the other Asian countries which seem to have a new record holder every other week).

My list is purely based on aesthetics, sense of occasion, the wow factor, and a touch of romance.

It’s been a ruthless process. Bridges – perhaps more than any other human construction other than a school – symbolise hope, connection, reaching out to other communities, commitment to the future.

But this process has been so ruthless, in fact, that my own all-time favourite, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, didn’t even make the cut. Nor did the Bridge over the River Kwai or any of the Bridges of Madison County. 1. SATARI MOST, MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

This historic bridge is not just a beautiful structure but a triumph of determination.

On November 9, 1993, the 400-year-old bridge was deliberately destroyed by Croatian forces in the Bosnian War.

Though it had no strategic importance in the war, it’s said that 60 shells were aimed at it, presumably to crush the Bosnian spirit.

Those who destroyed it would have known that it had been designed by Mimar Hayruddin and took nine years to build. The single span over such a steep ravine was considered revolutionary at the time.

Legend has it that on the day the wooden supports were removed in 1566, Hayruddin dug his own grave knowing the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire had sworn to have him executed if it collapsed.

Fortunately, after the Bosnian war, the world united – through UNESCO, the World Bank and similar organisations – to rebuild the bridge which was unveiled in 2004. Today, once again, brave locals dive off it into the river Neretva below.    2. BOSPHORUS BRIDGE, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

The Galata Bridge, spanning Istanbul’s Golden Horn, may be more famous but this deserves inclusion because it is the first bridge in the world to link two continents.

Driving across the Bosphorus Bridge from the European side to the Asian side of the Bosphorus is still surprisingly thrilling, as I discovered a few months ago.

It was opened in 1973, a day after Turkey celebrated its 50th anniversary as a republic and was at the time the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world (though it has slipped down the list since).

Before that, for centuries, the only way of crossing the Bosphorus was by ferry – although the Persian Emperor Xerxes The Great ordered his fleet of wooden ships to form a temporary bridge across the nearby Hellespont (the modern Dardanelles) around 480BC.

Each October, the bridge is closed for the Istanbul Eurasian marathon. A second bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, was added in 1988. 3. PONTE VECCHIO, FLORENCE, ITALY

Famously, the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge over the River Arno the retreating Nazis didn’t destroy when they fled Florence in 1944.

There has been a bridge here, at the narrowest part of the river, since Roman times, but the current “Old Bridge” dates back to 1345 when it was rebuilt after a flood. The Vasari corridor was built above the shops on the bridge by the architect Vasari on the orders of the Medici family who required a private route between the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the river.

Since 1593 only goldsmiths and jewellers are allowed to have shops on the bridge. 4. KHAJU BRIDGE, ISFAHAN, IRAN

This incredibly beautiful multi-arched bridge over the Zayandeh River, built by a Persian Shah, looks even more spectacular at night when it is floodlit.

It is also multi-functional, serving as a weir and a public meeting place as well as a bridge. Shah Abbass II had it constructed around 1650 on the foundations of an older bridge and he would often sit in its central pavilion admiring the water view.

His construction has aroused the admiration of travellers ever since. Sluice gates under the archways regulate the water level on either side of the bridge, helping to irrigate fields upstream. 5. RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, ITALY

The most famous of the four bridges which cross Venice’s Grand Canal, the Ponte di Rialto was built between 1588 and 1591 by the aptly named architect Antonio da Ponte. Reputedly, Michelangelo was also considered as a designer for the project. The bridge consists of two steep ramps, allowing the passage of gondolas and boats beneath. Critics said it would collapse, but it outlasted them to become an icon.

Shops in the colonades have always been part of the bridge’s great charm. 6. THE WIND AND RAIN BRIDGE, CHENGYANG, CHINA

The Chinese have built some of the most spectacular bridges of the last 25 years. But none is more memorable than the most famous of the “Wind and Rain” bridges that are found in Guangxi Province. The Chengyang version spans the Linxi River and is also called the Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge.

What is amazing about all these bridges – including this 65-metre-long structure – is no nails or rivets were used.

Instead, the local Dong people dove-tailed every piece of wood. The five towers on the bridge are deliberately placed to provide shelter from the wind and rain – hence the name. 7. VICTORIA FALLS BRIDGE, ZIMBABWE/ZAMBIA

I’m a sucker for bridges which are also borders between countries. Years ago I cycled across this bridge over the mighty Zambezi River from Zimbabwe to the Zambian town of Livingstone just so I could utter those immortal words, “Livingstone, I presume?” as I ordered a meal.

On that same trip, I “flew” over the bridge and Africa’s greatest waterfall (named by Livingstone) in a microlite.

The British imperialist Cecil Rhodes planned the bridge as part of his unfulfilled scheme to build an trans-African railway from Cape Town to Cairo, but he died before it was constructed.

Today, you can bungy jump off the bridge, or go white water rafting beneath it. Not quite what Rhodes had in mind, but the bridge survives. 8. HELIX BRIDGE, SINGAPORE

Yes, I know we ruled out the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but a least we get a mention in the pedestrian bridge linking the Marina areas of Singapore. It was designed by an international team made up of the Australian architects, Cox Group, the Swedish engineering firm Arup (which constructed much of the Sydney Opera House) and the Singapore firm, Architects 61.

It deliberately evokes echoes of human DNA, especially at night when the bridge is illuminated by a series of lights focusing on the letters c,g,a and t representing cytonsine, guanine, adenine and thymine – the four bases of DNA. 9. BRIDGE OF THE AMERICAS, PANAMA

This bridge doesn’t connect two continents, or even two countries. It stretches from one side of the Panama Canal to the other, so reuniting North and South America.

Puente de las Americas was originally know as the Thatcher Ferry Bridge (named after a male member of the canal commission, definitely not the former British Prime Minister). It was completed in 1962 at the Pacific entrance to the canal, the first non-swinging bridge across the canal and a key part of the Pan-American Highway. 10. CHARLES BRIDGE, PRAGUE OR CHAIN BRIDGE, BUDAPEST

Now this is a dilemma. Which of these two beautiful bridges to choose? They are so close you could easily drive between the two and visit both in one day.

According to legend, the bridge that spans the Vltava River  in modern day Prague was begun in 1347 during the reign of Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, who supposedly laid the first stone – hence its name.

Its 16 arches, shielded wisely by ice guards, is decorated with 30 18th-century baroque statues (though most are replicas now, with the originals in the National Museum).

Budapest’s Chain Bridge, by contrast, is a much more recent construction – designed by the English engineer William Tierney Clark and opened in 1849, the year after the Hungarian revolution.

It linked two separate settlements, historic Buda and modern Pest, and came to stand for progress and national awakening.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

International money transfer businesses launch class action against Westpac

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Westpac was the last of big four banks to allow the international transfer businesses to use their banking facilities, Photo: Darroam TraynorAlmost 20 international money transfer businesses have so far joined a class action in the Federal Court against Westpac for “unconscionable conduct” after the bank foreshadowed it would close all their accounts on Monday.
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The legal action, filed late on Friday after talks with the bank failed to resolve the issue, also included a temporary reprieve with an interim court order stopping Westpac from shutting down the trading accounts.

The move comes in the wake of industry fears of being inadvertently caught up in terrorism financing after a money transfer firm in Lakemba owned by relatives of terrorist Khaled Sharrouf was shut down for failing to explain millions of dollars in transfers to the Middle East.

Westpac, which was the last of big four banks to allow the international transfer businesses to use their banking facilities, told the small business operators last month that their accounts will be closed within weeks.

Westpac could not be contacted for comment on Saturday.

The business owners have argued that the disadvantaged and isolated communities in some of the world’s poorest regions will be hardest hit by moves to close their operations. The operator of Sydney Forex Pty Ltd said he set up business in 2004 at a time when there was no money transfer businesses to Pakistan. Munir Mohammed said his clients were mostly migrant workers sending money home to their families.

Lawyer Richard Mitry, who is acting on behalf of the 19 business owners, said it is an open class action and will apply to all similar businesses that are affected by Westpac’s moves to shut them down. There are about 5500 international money remitters that are likely to be affected.

“It is alleged that Westpac has engaged in unconscionable conduct and breach the code of banking practice by not providing remittance businesses reasonable notice before closing their accounts,” said Mr Mitry.

“Some of the businessess have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested. If the accounts are closed and the software is taken away they will be forced to seek alternatives – which will take time. If they are forced to close it could affect the whole industry.”

About 2 million people in Australia, mostly from immigrant communities, use money transfer services. Statistics provided by the newly formed Australian Remittance and Currency Providers Association (ARCPA) show that about 90 per cent of remittances are to developing countries and the average amount of money sent is $300. ARCPA director Dianne Nguyen has said their member businesses are happy to meet any new standards required and were already complying with Austrac requirements.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Protesters and pollies: “No cuts to the ABC”, as the carnage begins

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

A selection of signs at the rally. Photo: James BrickwoodAs rolling protests against funding cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation began on Saturday, past Victorian premiers have lamented the expected passing of the state edition of 7.30.
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Former Liberal premier Ted Baillieu, who was in the middle of packing boxes as he farewelled his own career in politics, said Victoria needed more, not less, state-based coverage of the sort that was provided by the Friday evening edition of 7.30 Victoria.

“You lose state perspective and it tends to be the only stories that are run are those at a national level,” he said

Mr Baillieu said the program – which has won numerous awards – had done a good job particularly with planning issues and gaming stories.

“When it was Stateline, it was the journal of record [for Victoria], where you had extended stories which went broadly acrosss the state and examined issues at some length,” he said .  “It was only half an hour a week, but a lot of issues were raised.”

Former Labor premier Steve Bracks described the program as “an important current affairs program which is widely watched and immensely respected across Victoria”.

In an emailed statement, Mr Bracks noted the the ABC Charter encouraged programming that was not readily taken up by the commercial networks. He said 7.30 Victoria was “just such a program”.

Premier Denis Napthine has urged the ABC to save the local edition of the 7.30 program and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan warned the show was important for people outside Melbourne.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews, in a campaigning mood, emailed The Sunday Age a statement that read: “Over the past four years 7.30 Victoria has been integral in raising key issues of concern to Victorians like Liberals’ cuts to TAFE and the Liberals’ response to the Hazelwood mine fire. It is shows like 7.30 Victoria that will be gone thanks to Tony Abbott’s and the Liberals cuts to the ABC and SBS.”

The state-based current affairs show began as Stateline in 1995 and was re-badged as 7.30 Victoria in 2011.

The call from Victorian leaders came as several hundred people filled Sydney Town Hall Square on Saturday to protest against the $254 million cuts and forecast 400 job losses at the ABC.

Community and Public Sector Union national president Michael Tull said the purpose of the rally, to be followed by protests in Melbourne on Sunday and Canberra on Monday, was to hold Prime Minister Tony Abbott to his election-eve pledge of no cuts to the ABC or SBS.

Quentin Dempster, host of 7.30 NSW, said current affairs program Lateline had reportedly been gutted of its reporting strength and would be made “lighter”.

He said: “Tony Abbott said unequivocally and unconditionally ‘No cuts to the ABC or SBS’. Malcolm Turnbull is a bullshitter. I remember him once promising never to tell a lie to the Australian people. Let me recalibrate this. Malcolm Turnbull is a bullshit artist who has now compounded Tony Abbott’s lie.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Adventure travel in comfort and style

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Sea safari: A kayaker enjoys the Turkish coast. Photo: Southern Sea Ventures
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Fairytale beauty: Llao Llao in Argentina.

Sea safari: A kayaker enjoys the Turkish coast. Photo: Southern Sea Ventures

Sea safari: A kayaker enjoys the Turkish coast. Photo: Southern Sea Ventures

Kimberley wish list: There is plenty of hiking but nothing too arduous.

Wonderland: Yellowstone in winter. Photo: Tauck

Barefoot dinner: The Wineglass Bay Sail Walk in Tasmania.

Varied landscapes: The Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia.

Luxury ketch: Lady Eugenie off the Tasmanian coast.

Sea safari: A kayaker enjoys the Turkish coast. Photo: Southern Sea Ventures

Sunshine and grapes: A couple cycles through the vineyard at Boyntons Winery.

Adventure travel used to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Not so long ago, outdoor adventures were only for the seriously fit and hardy: people prepared to trek for a week or more, bunking down in a sleeping bag and washing only when they passed a handy river.

These days, it seems everyone wants a bit of adventure. What’s more, we expect it to come with a healthy helping not just of running water, but also gourmet food and, preferably, a comfortable mattress. Fortunately, tour operators are responding. There is a huge selection of soft adventure holidays available, from cycling trips that include cooking classes and wine tastings, to outback explorations where every safari tent has its own ensuite bathroom.

These soft-core options appeal to a diverse group of travellers, including  ageing adventurers whose knees and hips  need a gentler pace, and couch potatoes keen to stretch themselves a bit. As a result, the trend has transformed every segment of the travel industry. Even touring companies such as Trafalgar are including hikes on some of their coach trips. At the other end of the spectrum, luxury travel operators such as Abercrombie & Kent are also responding to their guests’ desire for more activities.

“There is a demand to engage and participate fully in the environment of their destination, whether that is trekking in northern India or going to see the gorillas,” says Abercrombie & Kent’s managing director, Sujata Raman.

“It’s a way to connect with the destination. Whether you are riding a horse in a little Peruvian village on a half-day excursion, or walking in Zambia, you get a completely different sense of the people and the environment.”

Travellers are also able to enjoy greater flexibility in how they travel, with many operators offering both set-departure trips, and encouraging guests to put together a group of their own. Damian Cerini of Tour de Vines, which offers gourmet-themed cycling tours in Australia, New Zealand and France, says their self-guided options are embraced by groups of friends.

“Our small group trips, by contrast, are popular with single travellers, who see it as a great way to have an adventure and also meet some new people,” says Cerini.

Whether you’re ready to dip a paddle into the adventure pool, or want to be challenged every day, take a look at our hot dozen: adventures from around the globe that will stretch you just the right amount. ASIA

Destination China

The trip Old Country Living: Landscapes of Guizhou and Guangxi.

Perfect for Cultural immersion.

Amid terraced rice fields and jagged peaks straight from a Chinese scroll painting, discover a different side of China, as you travel through areas where minority tribes maintain their traditional lifestyles.

Action stations Most days of the 11-night trip include several hours of walking along the paths that link the individual villages. Biking, hiking and rafting options are also available.

Creature comforts This trip is about culture as much as adventure, with workshops in pottery and paper making as well as a Chinese opera performance. Where available, guests stay in boutique hotels; however, in some of the locations the only options are two and three star hotels. Itineraries can be adjusted to suit participants.

Cost  From $US350 a day a person, twin share.

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Destination Indonesia

The trip Komodo Kayaking

Perfect for Getting away from it all

There’s no better way to explore the Komodo National Park, with its two dozen islands, than by kayak. On this four-night trip, snorkelling coral reefs and camping on uninhabited islands are on the agenda, along with going in search of the mighty Komodo dragon.

Action stations In addition to daily kayaking, there are   many opportunities to snorkel, swim or even scuba diving amid turtles and manta rays.

Creature comforts Most nights you will kip in a safari tent on a beach – which means facilities are limited to a toilet tent.

Cost From $1500 a person twin share.

More informationnoroads整形美容医院m.au

Destination Mongolia

The trip From yak to kayak

Perfect for Those who’ve been there, done that

If your mental image of Mongolia is endless grassy plains, think again. This 12-night trip explores the country’s varied landscapes, from the starkly beautiful Gobi desert to the rich forests and meadows of northern Mongolia.

Action stations This trip is about travelling like a local. You will ride through the forested Khoridol Saridag Mountains, kayak across the magnificent Lake Hovsgl, and go camel trekking in the Gobi.

Creature comforts You are travelling through some of the most remote locations on Earth, so it’s not all easy going. You will be sleeping most nights in two-person  tents or more spacious gers, although a few nights at the comfortable Three Camel Lodge are also included.

Cost  $US4895 a person twin share, plus $US840 a person for internal flights.

More information:nomadicexpeditions整形美容医院mTHE AMERICAS

Destination Canada

The trip Bears and whales of British Columbia

Perfect for Wildlife spotters

Grizzly bears, black bears, whales and sea lions: the beautiful west coast of British Columbia is home to an amazing array of animals. This seven-night trip gives you plenty of opportunities for animal encounters, as well as taking in the stunning scenery.

Action stations Put on your hiking boots. You will be hiking through rainforest, along rivers and across alpine meadows, as well as tracking bears with an expert guide.

Creature comforts Luxury accommodations, such as Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, are just the start. This trip is studded with special experiences, such as flying to the top of a 10,000-year-old glacier for a scotch with glacier ice.

Cost From $US9995 a person, twin share.

More information:butterfield整形美容医院m

Destination Argentina

The trip Argentine Reflections

Perfect for Luxe lovers

There’s more to Argentina than Buenos Aires, and this 10-night trip lets you explore the country’s many faces, from the icy heart of Patagonia to the beautiful lakes and mountains around Bariloche.

Action stations Hiking and horse riding give you the chance to soak up the scenery; other options, such as bird-watching hikes and boat excursions, are also available.

Creature comforts In typical A&K style, there’s plenty of indulgence  from luxurious hotels, such as the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, to exclusive tango shows.

Cost From $7925 a person, twin share.

More information abercrombiekent整形美容医院m.au

Destination United States

The trip Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter

Perfect for Snowbunnies

One of a series of itineraries created with documentary maker Ken Burns, this eight-night trip reveals a very different side to the national park. Travellers get to discover a frozen landscape punctuated by steaming hot springs, which draw huge herds of bison and elk, bighorn sheep and wolves.

Action stations In addition to the included options, such as a snowshoeing expedition, this trip allows enough free time for snow enthusiasts to go cross-country skiing, ice skating, dog sledding or take a trail ride.

Creature comforts A lot of exploring is done from the comfort of the snowcoach, for those who don’t like the cold. Guests stay in historic lodges, including one with its own mineral hot springs.

Cost From $US4190 a person, twin share.

More information: tauck整形美容医院mEUROPE

Destination Croatia

The trip Hike, bike and eat through Croatia

Perfect for Foodies

This nine-night trip covers Croatia from the coast to the mountains, from adrenalin-fuelled adventure to cooking classes and fabulous feasts.

Action stations There is a different adventure every day, from cycling through the villages of Gorski Kotar to hiking the Istrian Peninsula and kayaking along the Adriatic.

Creature comforts All that activity had better work up an appetite, as eating features heavily on the itinerary. From cooking classes to tastings of wine, prosciutto and oysters, you will discover different local specialities each day. Accommodation is three or four star.

Cost $6940 a person, twin share.

More information: adventureworld整形美容医院m

Destination Turkey

The trip Active Turkey Kayak/ Walk

Perfect for History buffs

History’s greatest empires have left their mark on scenic southern Turkey. This 12-night trip combines a kayaking safari with a walk along the Lycian Way to uncover everything from ancient tombs to Byzantine monasteries.

Action stations Kick off with a week-long kayaking trip, camping on deserted beaches and visiting hot springs. Follow that with four days of hiking along the Lycian Way as it wends its way along spectacular cliffs and past remote ruins.

Creature comforts For much of the kayaking segment you may be camping wild on the beach. During the walk, you will be staying and eating at guesthouses. Your bags will be transported each day, so all you need to carry is your daypack.

Cost From $2700 a person, twin share.

More information:southernseaventures整形美容医院m

Destination England

The trip Cornish Cycle Tour

Perfect for Photographers

The picturesque fishing towns and dramatic coastlines of Cornwall  are some of England’s most-loved holiday landscapes. This eight-night, self-guided trip lets you explore this beautiful area at your own pace.

Action stations Saddle up every day for some cycling. It’s energetic without being strenuous – the longest you will cycle on any day is 50 kilometres.

Creature comforts Accommodation includes  several four-star guesthouses, and your luggage is transferred every day. Breakfast is the only included meal; if you are that way inclined, you can feast at fabulous restaurants every night, including Rick Stein’s world-famous restaurant.

Cost $1590 a person, twin share

More information: utracks整形美容医院mAUSTRALIA

Destination Western Australia

The trip Kimberley Complete

Perfect for Bushwalkers

The name says it all: this 14-night, four-wheel-drive trip takes in everything on your Kimberley wish list, from rock paintings on the Mitchell Plateau to the gorges of El Questro and the mighty Bungle Bungles.

Action stations There’s plenty of hiking involved – none of the hikes  is particularly long, but most are over uneven rocky ground, and some involve scrambling.

Creature comforts Sleeping in safari-style tents with en suites is a more civilised kind of life under canvas.

Cost From $8995 a person, twin share

More information:aptouring整形美容医院m.au

Destination Tasmania

The trip Wineglass Bay Sail Walk

Perfect for Those who love a sundowner

There are few areas as well suited to walking as the Tasmanian coast, and there are few better ways to finish a day hiking than with a chilled glass of wine aboard a cruising yacht. Participants on this three-night trip explore Freycinet Peninsula and Maria Island by day, then retire to the 75-foot luxury ketch, Lady Eugenie, to head off to the next day’s destination.

Action stations You will earn those pre-dinner drinks, with plenty of hiking every day.

Creature comforts There’s the yacht, with its teak decks and just five cabins; there are three-course dinners accompanied by fine Tasmanian wine: yep, we’d call it comfortable.

Cost From $2990 a person, twin share

More information: wineglassbaysailwalk整形美容医院m.au

Destination Victoria

The trip Tour de Grand Gourmet

Perfect for Wine buffs

What makes for a good cycling tour? A route with beautiful scenery, perhaps with some vineyard visits and farmgate stops thrown in. This four-night trip, which comes in guided or self-guided options, ticks all the boxes.

Action stations You’ll be on your bike for several hours every day; however,  with a route that follows quiet roads and a dedicated cycle trail, it’s easy going most of the way.

Creature comforts Winery lunches, wine tastings and even a cookery class ensure that you’re not spending the entire day in the saddle. Four-star accommodation lets you sleep in comfort.

Cost  $1599 a person twin share

More information: tourdevines整形美容医院m.au Five adventure cruises

Think the best way to recover from a strenuous afternoon is with a mojito? Then expedition cruising is for you. Set sail on one of these five-star adventures. Aqua Cruises Mekong Explorer 

Aqua Cruises’ Asian vessel, the Aqua Mekong, is known for its spacious suites, panoramic windows and its David-Thompson-designed menu. It also offers a range of interesting shore activities: the four-night Saigon to Phnom Penh cruise includes cycling and hiking options. aquaexpeditions整形美容医院m Aurora Expeditions Antarctic Cruises

Carrying just 54 passengers, Aurora Expeditions offers an intimate Antarctic experience. Its activities, including climbing, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking, take you into heart of this icy wilderness. auroraexpeditions整形美容医院m.au True North Raja Ampat Explorer

With just 36 passengers, True North is the best way to explore this magnificent Indonesian archipelago. In addition to daily snorkelling, swimming and fishing, the itinerary includes jungle and village hikes. Truenorth整形美容医院m.au  Lindblad Expeditions Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness

With walking or kayaking excursions every day, and just 62 passengers  a ship, Lindblad Expeditions is a great way to explore America’s wild north. au.expeditions整形美容医院m Ponant Cruises The Best of Kamtchatka

Russia’s far east is one of the last great wildernesses. Guests aboard Ponant’s luxurious Le Soléal can explore volcanoes, geysers and forests on hikes and on Zodiacs, spotting wildlife such as brown bears and sea otters. ponant整形美容医院m The greatest high

Five adventurers recall their most special moments. Tim Cope

Author of On the Trail of Genghis Khan (Bloomsbury)

“Crossing the treacherous passes and glacier-encrusted peaks of the Altai mountains in western Mongolia. From up high, we had this unbridled panorama – hundreds of thousands of kilometres with no fences, the only sign of humans being the white flecks that were the tents of the nomads.” Janet Oldham

0perations manager, World Expeditions

“I spent four years as a guide in Africa, and I loved travelling through Mali. Moving through different areas of the country, the tribes are so distinctive, you can tell by the facial painting and the clothes whether they are nomadic herding groups, more sedentary tribes, or Tuaregs. We travelled on a combination of trains, four-wheel-drive vehicles and on a pirogue down the Nile River – that’s how we got to Timbuktu.” James Thornton

Managing director, Intrepid Travel

“Trekking with gorillas in East Africa was really spine tingling. We trekked through deep undergrowth for about an hour before we came across a family of gorillas and spent an hour with them. We were in touching distance – sometimes they actually brushed us as they went past. Most safaris, you are sitting in a vehicle – being out there with them was just incredible.” Katie Sarah

Owner, DCXP Mountain Journeys

“Climbing Everest is as big a high as you can get. It’s not just about the climbing: although the expedition lasts six weeks, years of preparation go into it. The views are spectacular: you do have to consciously stop and look at it, instead of just concentrating on your feet and your breathing.” Mike Cusack

Wilderness guide, Aurora Expeditions

“The year that my wife and I spent living in the Kimberley wilderness was quite something. The landscape itself is enormously powerful, and the sheer isolation was quite something. We felt humbled being there.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Sunday explainer: Refugees and the great legal run-around

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Australia again changed the settings on its humanitarian refugee intake last week, cutting out people who claim asylum via Indonesia. What will this mean? Adam Morton explains.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

What was the change, and why was it introduced?

In the words of Scott Morrison, last week’s announcement – that Australia will not accept and resettle any asylum seekers in Indonesia who registered with the United Nations after June 30 this year, and that the annual intake for those who arrived in that country earlier than that will be cut from 600 to 450 – takes “the sugar off the table”. The goal is to deter asylum seekers from using Indonesia as a transit point on the way to Australia. Genuine refugees, the government reasons, should seek asylum in the first nation they land after fleeing their home country.

What was the response?

Already under attack for its hardline response to asylum seekers attempting to arrive by boat, the government drew fresh outrage from critics, who accused it of ignoring both international law and basic human dignity. The Coalition was also accused of blatant hypocrisy. Ministers have previously argued that priority should be given to those recognised as refugees through the formal UN process. They have also stressed the need for a regional solution. Here, critics said, it was rejecting the UN and its Indonesian neighbours, who it was supposed to be working with on a regional solution. They also noted some asylum seekers were left with little choice but to move on from the first country they landed in because they were no safer  there than at home. There is no law against moving again before claiming asylum.

Supporters of the government’s stance said the government was playing a long-term game that could ultimately relieve overcrowding in Indonesian refugee camps once it became clear no one would come to Australia. They said it would further decrease the risk of asylum seekers who attempted to reach Australia in rickety boats dying at sea. That death toll has ended since the Coalition came to power. And they said the government would now be taking more refugees from elsewhere.

What does it mean for asylum seekers in Indonesia?

It leaves a lot more of them in limbo. There were 10,507 asylum seekers in Indonesia at the end of October, including 1074 unaccompanied minors, many with family in Australia. They are likely to face a longer wait before being resettled. If and when they are, there is uncertainty over where in the region they will end up. Refugees settled in poorer countries – notably Nauru, under Australia’s agreement with that country – have reportedly been abused and threatened after being released into the community.

Will Australia be taking more refugees from elsewhere as a result of this? How many does it take – and how many asylum seekers does it hold in detention centres?

A handful more will come from elsewhere as Australia reduces the number of refugees arriving from Indonesian camps, but the government has not boosted the humanitarian intake. In fact, it cut the annual intake after coming to power – from 20,000 to 13,750. It reversed an increase the Gillard Labor government made just a year earlier on the advice of an expert panel headed by former Defence Force chief Angus Houston.

That increase – the biggest rise in Australia’s refugee intake in three decades – came as Labor reintroduced offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island. The Coalition abolished the expansion in the refugee intake while maintaining offshore processing. A little more than 1000 asylum seekers are held in each of the offshore detention centres set up by Australia, on Manus Island and Nauru. All have been told they will never be resettled in Australia, refugees or not.

Another 920 are held on Australian territory on remote Christmas Island. They will also never be settled here.

Offshore and onshore, Australia was detaining 5225 people in September, including 726 children. The average detention time was 422 days.

About 80 per cent of Australia’s refugee and special humanitarian intake came from offshore last financial year; 16 per cent was already in the country with a valid visa before claiming asylum; 4 per cent were asylum seekers who arrived by boat without a visa. Of those accepted from offshore, the bulk came from Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Syria. Australia has shifted focus in recent years to accept a greater proportion of refugees from Asia and the Middle East and fewer from Africa.

Globally, how many refugees are there?

The number of people being forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations at the end of last year topped 50 million – the highest level since the end of World War II. Two-thirds of these were displaced within their home country. Of the rest, about 16.7 million were refugees and 1.2 million classified as asylum seekers. About 5 million refugees were Palestinian. Among the remainder, more than half were from three war-ravaged countries – Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.

On average, 32,300 people a day fled their homes last year due to conflict or persecution. Seventeen out of 20 refugees live in developing countries after escaping.

How does Australia fare in accepting refugees?

It depends how you measure it. Australia is the world’s second-largest “third-country” resettler, though that’s a relatively insignificant measure in the scheme of things – fewer than 1 per cent of the world’s refugees are resettled in a third country.

In absolute terms, Australia ranks 48th in the world for humanitarian intake. On a per capita basis it is 62nd.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Deals: Get going

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Tranquil setting: A two-bedroom beach villa at The Datai. Tranquil setting: A two-bedroom beach villa at The Datai.
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Tranquil setting: A two-bedroom beach villa at The Datai.

Tranquil setting: A two-bedroom beach villa at The Datai.

GO NOW

LANGKAWI

Designed by four-time Major champion Ernie Els, The Datai Langkawi’s 18-hole championship course has reopened. The Datai Rainforest Golf package on offer includes accommodation, one round of golf a person, a 120-minute massage a person and more for $690 a night. Two-night minimum stay. Valid till December 19. See thedatai整形美容医院m.

GLOBAL

The entire portfolio of Accor hotels are discounted, offering savings of up to 40 per cent and free breakfast for online bookings. Accor has more than 2000 hotels worldwide across several brands including Sofitel, Pullman, Mercure and ibis. Sale is online bookings only. Valid for sale November 24-28 for stays December 15-February 8. See accorhotels整形美容医院m/supersale.

GO SOON

FIJI

My Fiji has free flights and stays for children in resorts including Sheraton, Radisson Blu Resort and Fiji Hideaway Resort. Packages include return flights for two adults and up to two children, transfers and more. Travel for select periods, first quarter 2015. On sale till November 28. Phone 1300 003 454 or see myFiji整形美容医院m.

THE KIMBERLEY

Cruise Express is offering free return flights from mainland state capitals on bookings of two Silversea cruise expeditions along the Kimberley coast. Book a verandah suite to fly business class. The 10-night voyages are between Broome and Darwin, departing April 9 and April 19, on the same itinerary. From $10,950 a person, twin-share. Phone 1300 764 509. See cruiseexpress整形美容医院m.au.

GO LATER

HAWAII

Save nearly $600 a person with Creative Cruising’s Fly, Cruise and Stay Hawaiian package. It includes 18 nights on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, two nights at the Aston Waikiki Beach Honolulu, airfares to Honolulu, and more. From $3759 a person, twin share. Departure: April 19. Sale till November 28. See creativecruising整形美容医院m.au; 1300 362 599.

RUSSIA

Two can cruise for the price of one on an eight-day Russian river cruise. The cruise, between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, is on the Rostropovich, previously sold in Australia as the AmaKatarina. Departures are May-September, 2015. From $2332 a person twin share. The price varies according to season. Deal valid till January 31. 1300 668 844. See eetbtravel整形美容医院m.

TOUR WATCH

TURKEY

Archaeological and cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels has released three new expert-led tours of Turkey, each timed to be taken before or after next year’s centenary commemorations at Gallipoli. They include an in-depth exploration of Istanbul, an expedition in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, and a walking and sailing journey aboard a traditional Turkish gulet.

For example, Exploring Istanbul is an eight-day focus on the former Constantinople. It costs around $4015 a person twin share and runs April 15-23. Taking no more than 18 people, each tour is hosted by an expert guide from fields including archaeology, ancient history, the arts, the classics and cuisine.

See petersommer整形美容医院m

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Regal Princess and Quantum of the Seas launched

21/10/2018 | 无锡整形美容医院 | Permalink

Cruise down memory lane: The original cast of TV series The Love Boat gathered for the christening of the Regal Princess. The piazza onboard the Regal Princess.
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Luxury life: Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend.

Setting sail: Star Clipper.

Eye-spy: Quantum’s much-hyped North Star viewing platform.

Eye-spy: Quantum’s much-hyped North Star viewing platform.

Eye-spy: Quantum’s much-hyped North Star viewing platform.

Eye-spy: Quantum’s much-hyped North Star viewing platform.

BIGGER AND BETTER

It was a big week in the cruise world as two giant cruise corporations, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, christened their newest megaships within days of each other. Regal Princess received the full Love Boat treatment in a spectacular ceremony on November 5, while singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth did the honours for Quantum of the Seas on November 14.

So what are the differences – and similarities – between the two new ships? Regal Princess started operating back in May and is the second in a trio of nearly identical Royal-class ships: Royal Princess is the first, launched in 2012, and the third, which will be a bit bigger, is being built in Italy and due to set sail in 2017.

Quantum of the Seas is the first of three Quantum-class vessels. Identical sister Anthem of the Seas is due to launch in March next year and Ovation of the Seas will follow in April 2016.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships are larger than the Princess Cruises’ Royal class but not much by today’s standards. Regal Princess is 141,000 grt (gross registered tons) and 330 metres long; Quantum is 167,800 grt and 348 metres long. As Carnival Corporation’s chairman, Micky Arison, said at the christening of Regal Princess: “What drives the size is fuel efficiency. You need 4000 passengers on a ship to spread the costs.”

Regal’s 3600 passengers are looked after by 1346 crew members; Quantum has a crew of 1546 for its 4180 passengers. These figures are for double occupancy – the ships’ maximum passenger capacity is 4610 and 4905 respectively.

Dining at sea is always an important part of the cruise experience and these new ships certainly don’t disappoint, both offering an incredible choice of eateries. Regal has 16 restaurants and cafes; Quantum has 18. Bars are a different story. Where Regal tends more to the traditional Princess Cruises venues such as Bellini’s, Vines wine bar and the English pub-style Wheelhouse, Quantum is pushing the boat out with robotic bartenders in the Bionic Bar. Craft beers feature on both ships but I’m still waiting for the boutique cider trend to move to seagoing bars.

As for whiz-bang toys, there’s no competition – Quantum’s much-hyped North Star “eye in the sky”, flying simulator, massive SeaPlex entertainment centre and bumper cars are like nothing else at sea. For now, anyway: who knows what they will think up in the next couple of years?

MEET THE CREW 

NAME  Naresh Kumar, from Rishikesh, India.

POSITION 1st Commis Continental Chef, Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess.

MY JOB I have been assigned to the International Cafe on this contract (my third with Princess). I’ve been on Regal since she started sailing in May, and before that I worked on Ruby Princess, and Sun Princess in Australia. In the galley I make salads, sandwiches and the sugar sculptures you see on display. I also serve passengers in the cafe.

MY TYPICAL DAY I get up at 5.30am for a 6am start and work until 9pm, with 2.5 hours of breaks during the day. Firstly I do a handover with the night shift, then check the breakfast items; what we have and what we need.Every quarter management changes our roles; for example I’ve worked in provisions, grills and sauces during the contract. This is my favourite department – it’s really good to have conversations with passengers, and joke and laugh with them.

FAVOURITE CRUISE MOMENT  When I won the Consummate Host award in August. It means I was recognised as the best employee of the month across the whole fleet of 18 ships. It really was the best moment ever.

FAVOURITE CRUISE PORT  Auckland.  I like the weather – it’s not too hot, not too cold. It’s also a very clean city; quiet, not crowded like India; and the people are very friendly.

TIP FOR PASSENGERS When you board the ship for the first time, come to the International Cafe, and while you’re cruising make sure you go to the Sanctuary. People often ask my advice about destinations and I always tell them to go to New Zealand!

TIP

The Kimberley is a major cruise hotspot, so if you’re planning a trip for the 2015 season (April to September), book it soon. Check out the lines that cruise there, fares and special offers at kimberleycruises整形美容医院m.

CRUISE NEWS

Tall ships on the high seas

Star Clippers has launched its 2015-16 program, featuring cruises from three to 24 nights on its three magnificent tall ships. They will sail in the Caribbean in winter (Star Clipper from St Maarten, Royal Clipper from Barbados and Star Flyer from Cuba) and in the Mediterranean and Aegean in summer. There are also one-off sailings between Barbados and Panama (on Star Flyer); transatlantic crossings on all three ships in spring and autumn; and mini-cruises in the Mediterranean from three to five nights as well as the longer sailings. Star Flyer will operate two new 10-day Cuba itineraries in March 2016.

Farewell Caribbean season for Seabourn Spirit and Legend

For their last season sailing under the Seabourn banner, sister ships Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend will return to where it all began more than 20 years ago – the Caribbean. From now until April, when the ships move to their new home with Windstar Cruises, Spirit and Legend will will offer 18 seven-day cruises alternating between St Maarten and Barbados. Both ships will visit popular islands such as St Kitts, Antigua and St Barts, and call at smaller ports such as Mayreau in the Grenadines’ Tobago Cays, Le Marin on Martinique and Iles des Saintes on Guadeloupe. Enjoy the signature “Caviar in the Surf” beach barbecue and onboard watersport toys as part of Seabourn’s special, all-inclusive fares.

New Costa flagship sets sail

The super-glitzy 4947-passenger Costa Diadema was christened in Italy on November 7 and is now the flagship of Costa Cruises’ 17-strong fleet. Like its new megaship competitors, it is aiming to attract the burgeoning youth and family markets and offers very reasonable fares. New features include high-tech games, four new shows covering everything from Latin music and dance to opera and classic rock, split-level rooms overlooking the sea and a broad, 500-metre outdoor promenade. It will sail seven-day Mediterranean itineraries from Savona, Italy, until the end of the 2015 northern summer season.

DEALS

OFFER OF THE WEEK

Unwind for 18 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas as she heads from Sydney to Honolulu via New Zealand, Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora. Cruiseco’s 20-night package includes two nights’ accommodation in Waikiki, airfares from Honolulu to Australia and onboard gratuities. Departing April 19, from $3960; see cruising整形美容医院m.au.

MORE DEALS

MSC CRUISES is offering a  two-for-one  deal on a 10-night Italy to Denmark cruise on board the newly refurbished MSC Sinfonia, departing Genoa on May 6. Fares start at $1409 for the first person and $220 for the second person twin share, or upgrade to an ocean view from $12 a person a  day or a suite from $55 a person a day. Phone 1300 028502, see msccruises整形美容医院m.au.

CRUISEABOUT Check out Golden Princess on a two-night cruise from Sydney to Melbourne before the ship moves to Melbourne for its inaugural 2015-16 season. Departing October 28, fares start at $319. Phone 1300 769 228, see cruiseabout整形美容医院m.au.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.