Aqua Expeditions - Honeymoon and Anniversary Cruises on Mekong and Amazon

Aqua Expeditions has announced new Honeymoon and Anniversary cruise experiences, full of unmissable romantic touches and offering couples a truly immersive river safari experience – all for the same price as a regular departure on the boutique operator’s Aqua Mekong and Aria Amazon sailing schedules.

Throughout their journey, couples and newlyweds will get ever closer to some of the world’s most remote and beautiful locations, with each vessel featuring beautiful suite accommodation with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows as well as luxurious lounge and spa facilities for relaxation.

On checking into their spacious design suite, couples will be greeted with a heart-shaped chocolate cake or chocolate truffles, charming handwritten note and an indulgent bottle of Champagne ready to be popped. The bed will be romantically sprinkled with flower petals and topped with a folded pet towel.

Onboard highlights include a gym, artisanal boutique, massage rooms, indoor bar, lounge area and outdoor jacuzzi, while Aqua Mekong also features a library/games room, outdoor bar and screening room. Exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio ensures unrivalled levels of comfort and quality of service.

Active twice-daily excursions in groups of no more than eight by private speedboat are led by expert local guides, who know these two regions like the backs of their hands; feel the dense jungle underfoot, bike to local markets and temples, hop in the vessel’s kayaks, or jump in to discover unspoiled waters and rare indigenous wildlife close-up. For couples wishing to immerse themselves in local culture, activities include visits to exquisite markets, key nature spots and remote floating villages.

World-class local cuisine on board is designed by renowned Consulting Chefs, David Thompson on Aqua Mekong and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino on Aria Amazon – both of whom are known as authorities on the unique cuisine of each region. After dinner, couples can enjoy a beverage on the Observation Deck, as the night sky fills with constellations and shooting stars – the ultimate romantic setting.

Couples on Aqua Mekong are invited to head to the screening room for a range of movie classics or on more balmy nights can enjoy the outdoor cinema under the stars, whilst those celebrating a wedding anniversary on Aria Amazon will be treated to a special cake on the day along with songs by the onboard band.

All guests on Aqua Expeditions voyages have the unique opportunity to give back to the incredible people, flora and fauna in the environments they visit, for that moment in time becoming a part of the community – through the Room to Read scheme on Aqua Mekong sailings which supports school girls in increasing literary rates in local schools, and Pack with a Purpose on Aria Amazon sailings where guests can bring valuable supplies for local children and families in their suitcases.

Aqua Expeditions brings couples a unique and unforgettable experience – this is the way to enjoy South East Asia and Peru’s highlights, whether as part of a longer trip or a quick stop-over before embarking on more adventures.

Honeymoon and Anniversary Cruises are priced from USD4050 per person on Aqua Mekong and USD3825 per person on Aria Amazon based on twin share suite accommodation on 3-night Discovery Cruises including all meals on board, beverages (premium non-alcoholic, house wine and beer), shore excursions, laundry, bike use and intermittent Wi-Fi. Both vessels also operate 4-night Explorer Cruises and 7-night Expedition Cruises and a 30% discount will apply on bookings for all Aqua Mekong cruises until 14 August 2018.

Couples will receive the following additional amenities during these cruises:

Aqua Mekong

  • Bottle of Champagne and chocolate heart shape cake in cabin upon arrival
  • Special turndown on first night
  • Complimentary 60-minute couple’s massage in cabin
  • Private romantic dinner on upper deck
  • Private screen movie (weather permitting)

Aria Amazon

  • Bottle of Champagne and homemade chocolate truffle in cabin upon arrival
  • Special turndown on first night
  • Complimentary 50-minute couple’s massage in cabin
  • A special anniversary cake with Aqua band singing love songs

For information and bookings please contact your travel agent or Aqua Expeditions Australia on 1300 124 204 or

Source: Aqua Expeditions

Quay review: famous Sydney restaurant opens in fine style

Nothing more exciting than going to an opening night. And a restaurant re-opening night at that.

And while Quay, one of Sydney‘s best restaurants has been on hiatus since April, 3 mates and I decided to book a table to celebrate two birthdays on the opening night. And yes, we were always going to be in for a treat.

Quay – the restaurant on top of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney has been a culinary icon for years, expertly run by chef guru Peter Gilmore, who, in this incarnation, is supported by 35 extraordinary staff.

I could go on and on and on – and I would love to – but to be honest, instead of dissecting each & every course, I want to give you a feel and vibe of the place. Oh. And of course, we have to talk food!

Here are some of my take-home musings.(By the way the duck is extraordinary! )And that wine list – it was like a Bible with a couple of pages dedicated to just about every vintage of Krug champagne.

Have a look at the 10 course degustation here – but there is also a six course one which is what we decided on.

Take a look at some of the morsels from the either 6 or 10 course degustation menu – such as an Oyster Intervention (tastes and is oyster but just without the texture, of which chef Peter Gilmore has never been a fan.)

I’ll start with the lighting – when you first sit down the overhead down-lighting (a tad unflattering) is quite bright so you can peruse the menu comfortably – and with well over 500 wines to choose from you could be there for hours! Then, as your meal goes on, your above table lighting adjusts so the ambience feels cosier. Direct downlights are nobody’s face friend!

It is like fine dining has been deconstructed – the interior (by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer) is cleaner and leaner, seating 80 people, not 100 like before. There’s a private dining room and event space – all with that killer Sydney harbour view.

And instead of the famous & now retired Snow Egg dessert, Peter has created something called White Coral. Worth saving up just for that.

Quay isn’t inexpensive but It’s a true culinary experience with a staff who know their stuff back to front. Try a malted barley crumpet with truffle and you’ll get the picture. And all food requirements are catered to.

I loved the sustainable solid spotted gum tables which were devoid of linen – & you are surrounded by materials derived from nature including some stingray patterned divides, volcanic lava stone with a pattern that looks like cracked bark and there is a series of blue carpet pools, referencing the ocean, of course.

Put it on your edible bucket list. And even better it wasn’t all quiet, reverential and serene: while our table was probably the loudest (sorry) it also proved that having fun, laughing (a lot) and fine dining are able to go hand-in-hand.

*Melissa and her table were paying guests at Quay restaurant

Tiffany & Co. Commit $1.4M to the Great Barrier Reef

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation have announced that it has committed approximately $1.4 million AUD ($1 million USD) to help protect and restore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This magnificent natural wonder is the world’s largest living organism, encompassing an area approximately the size of Italy and hosting some of the richest biodiversity on Earth. However, various threats—such as climate change, poor water quality and impacts from human activity—have led to a widespread decline of coral cover in recent years.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has supported coral conservation worldwide for nearly two decades. This recent commitment in Australia focuses on recovering the Reef by funding both short and long-term solutions, including Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Out of the Blue Box Innovation Challenge and Reef Aid, a project of Greening Australia.

“We believe there is reason for hope,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to support two of the leading organizations working to preserve the Great Barrier Reef, one of our planet’s most significant natural assets. Together, we can find novel solutions to preserve this precious coral ecosystem and ensure that it is vibrant and healthy for generations to come.”

Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Out of the Blue Box Innovation Challenge (, launching today, is a global call for new ideas to bolster the Great Barrier Reef’s future resilience. The Challenge calls for innovations in finance, technology and social science to ease pressures on the Reef and allow it to recover. One winning concept, chosen by an expert panel from diverse sectors, will earn a prize of up to $300,000 AUD (approximately $225,000 USD). The application period closes September 3 and the winner will be announced in late October.

“Only through cross-sector collaboration and diverse thinking are we going to find solutions to help our reefs recover in the face of complex threats like climate change,” said Anna Marsden, managing director, Great Barrier Reef Foundation. “We are privileged to have the support of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation in the development of the Out of the Blue Box Innovation Challenge. Through the Challenge, we hope to identify creative approaches to restore not only the Great Barrier Reef, but coral reefs around the world.”

To complement this search for long-term solutions, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is also supporting tangible conservation efforts through Reef Aid, a project of Greening Australia. Reef Aid aims to improve water quality by restoring watersheds and wetlands near the Reef, halting erosion and thus significantly reducing the amount of sediment in ocean waters.

“Greening Australia and our partners are tackling one of the most critical threats to the iconic and globally significant Great Barrier Reef,” said Brendan Foran, CEO of Greening Australia. “With The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s support, which will be matched with the same level of government funding, we will continue to improve water quality, boosting the Reef’s resilience to fight climate change.”

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation believes these two complementary approaches will contribute to various restoration efforts already underway, balancing the need for long-term solutions with immediate, tangible actions to safeguard the world’s most iconic reef.

Support of Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Innovation Challenge was made possible through a grant to The University of Queensland in America Inc and support of Greening Australia’s Reef Aid project was made possible through a grant to Give2Asia.

Source: Tiffany & Co. Foundation

Pops of sunglasses colour from Furla

Pops of colour are a must have style for the new season. FURLA’s luxury sunglasses are sophisticated and elegant.

The latest range adds an element of fun to create a unique and fashionable look for every woman. The colours through the new FURLA sunglasses range are a standout feature that compliment every face.

Source: Furla

Sydney’s stylish mamas come out to play for Peanut App Launch

Peanut, the matchmaking app for mums launched into Australia at the beautiful Botanica in Vaulcluse on the 17th July 2018.

The intimate lunch was an opportunity for Sydney mother’s to connect with other like-minded women. Emceed by author Meg Mason for an afternoon of brand discovery and discussion of all things Peanut, Lindy Klim, Australian ambassador also spoke about her genuine experience on motherhood and the importance of feeling connected to other Mother’s.

Seedlip bespoke mocktails served on the day included:

Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Seedlip Spice 94, Rasberry Jam, Fresh Lemon, Aqua Faba, Peanut Butter

Almond Are Girls Best Friend
Seedlip Garden 108, Orgeat Syrup, Fresh Lemon, Soda Water

In attendance were Jules Sebastian, Veronica Milsom, Talitha Cummins, Laura Csortan, Krystal Hipwell, Fleur Egan and Amber Sherlock.

The app is a modern solution for women who are sharing similar life experiences. Peanut is geared toward making it simple to connect, chat and share. The app utilises machine learning and a smart algorithm to personalise the experience for each user and match mamas based on commonalities.

“We’ve received so many inbound requests from women in Australia who want to use Peanut. They want to connect and have conversations with like-minded women. To seek advice and support, isn’t that what every woman wants? We’re so excited to be in Australia, a country bursting with forward thinking, funny, brilliant women, a perfect complement to the women already using Peanut” Michelle Kennedy.

Source: Peanut