Australian Government Opens Up the Iconic Great Barrier Reef to Superyachts

Superyacht Australia (SA) has for some time been seeking to reform the Whitsundays Plan of Management in order to facilitate greater access for vessels over 35 metres in length.

Marine Tourism is a significant part of the Australian economy and a growing contributor to Australia’s tourism offering. Superyacht Australia has been lobbying for the past 9 years to allow superyachts greater than 35 metres to be able to cruise and anchor in key spots within the Great Barrier Reef. (GBR)

Tourism Australia markets the GBR as Australia’s iconic tourism destination to the global market yet superyachts over 35 metres have been unable to enjoy this iconic destination forcing our own Australia superyacht owners to take their vessels to Fiji and other Pacific countries rather than spend their tourism dollars in their own backyard.

MaryAnne Edwards CEO Superyacht Australia commented, “The Turnbull government has read the Superyacht industry economic impact study and understands the value of the jobs and economic benefits of this sector to Australia and regional Australia in particular.

This small move in regulations will have a big impact on regional economies who can now finally look to see greater utilisation of marina and refit facilities and the enormous spend with local businesses that comes with this.”

With Tourism identified as one of five ‘super sectors’ to drive Australia’s prosperity into the future, the ability to cruise in the GBR will not only attract more vessels to Australia but they will stay longer and Superyacht Australia is already developing the marketing collateral to make this happen.

An exciting new cruising itinerary calling in at all the major superyacht marinas from Cairns to Tasmania is currently being developed and will be promoted at the Monaco Yacht show.

Australia has some of the most spectacular cruising destinations and attractions in the world, and about 70 per cent of all international visitors report enjoying coastal experiences as part of their trip.

There is no doubt the superyacht industry provides economic benefits to the Australian economy across an array of industries, including, tourism, transport and marine maintenance. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Superyacht Australia found the industry contributed a total of $1.97 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2016 financial year.

Superyacht Australia CEO M Edwards further stated, “Superyachts are built to the highest environmental standards and lead the world in all aspects of maritime best practices, pose no additional risk to the environmental, social or cultural values of the Whitsunday region.

We believe that owners and guests of superyachts should have the same rights to access and enjoy the Whitsundays as any other visitor to the region and the changes to the plan of management will finally allow this.”

The new amendments will create 21 superyacht anchorages for superyachts less than 70m throughout the Whitsunday Planning Area.

It is great to see the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, welcome superyachts to the Whitsunday region and acknowledge their environmental credentials and significant benefit to the region’s economy.

The Turnbull government has listened to Industry and Australia will reap the benefits of this decision through an increase in superyacht visitation leading to a greater need for skilled workers, increased job opportunities and this will also open up opportunities for apprentices in a number of trade areas. This increased visitation also leads to more private investment in infrastructure and more jobs in the refit and repair industries.

The superyacht industry will make significant inroads into achieving the government’s 2020 strategy. Improving access for superyachts aligns with the State and Federal government tourism industry potential for increasing overnight visitor expenditure.

Source: Superyacht Australia

Own a Private Villa on Fiji's Wavi Island, for Just $25

If you have ever dreamed about owning a piece of Fijian private paradise, then dream no more. In a world’s first, you could now have your own private villa on Fiji’s untouched Wavi island for just USD $19 (appx AUD$25).

Five amazing villa packages, each valued at USD$5 million, will be won in this extraordinary raffle with a limited number of tickets being sold at just US$19 a ticket.

On one of Fiji’s most stunning private island locations, Wavi island is nestled off the shore of Vanua Levu and accessible via private bridge. Only a one hour flight from Fiji’s international airport, Nadi, the island is just a short 20-minute drive from Savusavu’s airport and the world-famous resorts, Jean-Michel Cousteau and Anthony’s Robbin’s own personal tropical hideaway, Namale.

Spanning 27 acres of lush tropical landscaping and surrounded by pristine beaches that are lined with coconut palms, Wavi island can be your home, forever.

Each of the five winners will receive:

  • An amazing custom 3-bedroom villa, compete with your own pool, on Fiji’s private Wavi island
  • Complete fitout package
  • 2, five night fully paid trips – watch your custom villa being built along with a hand over briefing from Island management
  • Access to your own boat mooring on the island
  • Usage of the resort facilities
  • No Management fees / No owner costs ever, until rental income is produced
  • Rental income for life

With access to private chefs and service staff, once you’ve arrived at Wavi, you’ll never want to leave.

For your chance to WIN a villa in one of the world’s most beautiful and tranquil locations visit

Source: Fiji’s Wavi Island

Qantas Wi-Fi update - so how is it panning out?

Since April, our first internet-enabled aircraft has let passengers stay connected as it flies up and down the east coast of Australia. The free and fast Wi-Fi has been a nice surprise for up to 3,500 passengers a week who happen to step on board VH-XZB on their way somewhere.

The free and fast Wi-Fi has been a nice surprise for up to 3,500 passengers a week who happen to step on board VH-XZB on their way somewhere. Their experience has also given our team working to rollout Wi-Fi to the rest of our domestic fleet a lot of useful information about how the system is performing.

That’s important, because in choosing a Wi-Fi system (and there are several to choose from), Qantas selected ViaSat’s Ka-band satellite system so we could tap into the wide coverage and high speeds of the nbn. And because it’s quite new, there is a lot of testing involved to make sure we get it right.

By the time our domestic B737s and A330s are all fitted in late 2018 – around 80 aircraft in total – an estimated 15 million passengers a year will be able to stay connected in the air. That’s a whole lotta emails, selfies and streaming.

Source: Qantas

Crystal Gives Guests VIP Access to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 Race

Adrenaline rushes are inevitable for Crystal Symphony guests in Abu Dhabi this November, as Crystal unveils three exclusive ways for travelers to experience the most glamourous international event in the United Arab Emirates. During the “Indian Ocean Discovery” voyage, the ultra-luxury ship will arrive in Abu Dhabi on November 25 for an overnight stay just in time for the capital city’s Formula 1 Grand Prix at the famed Yas Marina Circuit. The 55-lap, approximately 190-mile race draws drivers from around the world to compete for the pole position. Crystal guests will enjoy VIP views for each lap, heightening the thrill of the event.

The most exclusive Crystal package for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix transports guests by luxury coach from the ship to Yas Island, where the Marina is located, and positions them in the heart of the action with Formula TEAM One Paddock Club™ access, with either Team Red Bull or Team Ferrari. Participants will walk the pit lane and enjoy premier seating in the air-conditioned upper floors of the pit building, as well as fine cuisine and beverage service throughout the day, open bar and access to the roof terrace to mingle with fellow VIP guests. Fares for this option are US$9,999 per person.

In addition to Abu Dhabi, the 17-day voyage begins with an overnight in Dubai and a maiden call in Doha, Qatar before cruising the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean en route to Mahé/Victoria, Seychelles; Nosy Bé and Maroantsetra (maiden call), Madagascar; and Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius. All-inclusive cruise only fares start at US$3,995 per person.

Source: Crystal Cruises

A Jet Lag Cure Near? Qantas and Researchers From the Charles Perkins Centre Hope So!

Qantas passengers are set to benefit from a world first collaboration between the airline and one of Australia’s leading academic institutions to reshape the travel experience. I ventured to Sydney University to hear about the work that is about to be undertaken in order for feel better, pre, during and post any long haul fllying.

The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre will work with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long haul travel ahead of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights later this year. The centre brings together researchers across a variety of fields from nutrition to physical activity, sleep and complex systems modelling.

Qantas and the Charles Perkins Centre are looking at opportunities to involve some Qantas frequent flyers in trials that involve wearable technology in the measurement of existing biorhythms during travel, enabling future products to be developed and designed with the insight of robust data.

Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, said the partnership is hugely exciting as it’s the first time there has been an integrated multidisciplinary collaboration between an airline and a university around in-flight health and well-being beyond medical emergency.

Source: Qantas