with Nicholas Walton
Conservationist Randal Keynes, a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, will host the Reef & Rainforest fund- raising cruise (for the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos Conservation Trust) around Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, in October to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the naturalist's birth. The itinerary starts on October 22 with a two-night stay in Quito, including a cocktail reception with the British ambassador, before setting sail from Baltra aboard the MV Eclipse. The trip costs GBP4,255 (HK$52,500) per person, inclusive of meals, transfers, excursions and three nights' accommodation in the Ecuadorian capital. For details, call 44 1803 866965 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big blue
A 'destination resort' - hotel-speak for 'massive' - has opened on Fiji's Natadola Beach. The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (www.intercontinental.com/fiji) is spread across 14 hectares and boasts 216 rooms and suites, each with a private terrace or a balcony featuring a 'Cleopatra'-style tub and day bed. A further 55 hilltop Club InterContinental villas are on the way. Despite the size of the resort, which includes a coast-hugging championship golf course, the hotel group promises to 'protect, celebrate and share' Fiji's best beach.
Deal of the week
China Airlines and JJ Explorer Tours are offering packages to Australia's Gold Coast that will suit a range of travellers. The funky Vibe Gold Coast (HK$2,999) is aimed at couples while families can stay close to the action at the Sea World Resort (left; HK$3,499) and golfers can get the best tee-off times when staying at Royal Pines (HK$3,499). The packages include economy flights with China Airlines between Hong Kong and Brisbane via Taipei and three nights' accommodation. Combined Gold Coast/Sydney packages are also available. For bookings, go to the packages section at www.jjexplorertours.com. . .