Pacific Aria: first impressions

I’ve arrived onboard P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Aria for a seven-day journey  from Brisbane to New Caledonia and back.

Ship’s webcam view of port in Brisbane

I’ll be blogging when I can, and posting updates on social media. In the meantime, I’ve undertaken a reconnaissance mission and here are some pictures of the ship and the port.

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Dream flight to Brisbane

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is one of my favourite planes and it didn’t disappoint on my recent journey from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane. Neither did the Etihad Airlines service.

Etihad Boeing 787 (Etihad Airways)

In fact, the only hitch was a 15-minute delay at immigration at Abu Dhabi Airport, apparently because my passport lacked a stamp indicating that I had reentered the United Arab Emirates after my recent Gulf cruise.

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Being in Brisbane

Brisbane
Brisbane City Hall

It may be hard to be objective to write about your home town, but I’m going to try.

First, it’s true that Brisbane, where I was born and I’ve spent more than half of my life, is not the immediate “go-to” Australian city. Sydney is that — because of the harbour, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach, the Manly ferry and so many other attractions that all would-be tourists associate with the land down under. Continue reading Being in Brisbane

Home and away

The wild blue yonder
Coming in for landing at Brisbane airport

I often claim to be a “citizen of the world” — which I am. We all are, and if more of us felt that way, then maybe we’d stop being unkind to each other on the basis of nationality, skin colour or religion.

OK, I won’t hold my breath on that. But maybe if we viewed the Earth as our home, we’d look after the planet a lot better than we do.

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A class act?

Etihad first class
Etihad first class

I understand why travel advertisements often feature pictures of beautiful young people frolicking about in exotic destinations or relaxing in impossibly large airline seats. It’s because young people do travel a lot and airlines and hotels want their business. But these pictures don’t reflect reality.

The real money in the tourism industry isn’t made from beautiful young people, because beautiful young people generally travel on the cheap.

Continue reading A class act?