(1:00 p.m. AEST) – The first travel agency to sell cruises online in Australia, ecruising, has launched 33 Degrees, aimed at «elite» travellers. Founder and chairman Brett Dudley, said his collection of escorted cruise and land tours had “outgrown” ecruising, a 16 year old brand name that was too narrowly focused on cruise only. Australian clients, he said, increasingly want the whole package organised, from chartered flights and five-star accommodation to experiential experiences before or after a luxury cruise.
“Ecruising’s cruise tours grew at such a speed that it was necessary to create a company dedicated to these immersive high-end packages and build a team of dedicated handpicked travel professionals who, with their extensive knowledge, will offer a concierge style of service to our 33 Degrees customers,” Dudley said.
The new company name is derived from three of Dudley’s favourite cities — Sydney, Cape Town and Santiago — all of which are 33 degrees south of the Equator.
“The range of tours visit some of the most remote and interesting places on Earth and may incorporate private jets, exclusive use of small resorts and luxury ships,” he said, adding that other “surprises” were planned for each trip, such as celebrity chefs cooking meals in landmark locations. The emphasis is on unhurried, multiple-night stays in each pre-cruise destination, “to recreate the golden era of travel”, with no mandatory activities.
33 Degrees also offers the “Directors Selection”, developed and hosted by Dudley, including a 32-night ‘Seven Wonders of South Africa’ itinerary that incorporates privately chartered planes, exclusive use of Phinda Mountain Lodge and Rovos Rail, and a 16-night cruise from Cape Town back to Australia aboard Queen Mary 2. Other destinations include the Kimberley, the Mekong, Alaska, Myanmar, Amazon River and Galapagos.
Pictured above are founder Brett Dudley and Serge Dansereau, owner and executive chef of Sydney’s Bathers Pavilion, where last night’s media launch was held.