End of the road Connoisseurs of fine travel writing will be familiar with the work of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who has been described as a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene. Sir Patrick, as he was more correctly known from 2004, is famous for two books, A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and the Water (1986), which related his experiences as a teenager on a walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul, Turkey, in the 1930s. Fans of Leigh Fermor's writing finally gave up waiting for the long-anticipated third, and concluding, volume about this journey (the second book ended a few hundred kilometres short of Istanbul) when the author died in 2011, at the age of 96 (still enjoying a reported 80 to 100 cigarettes a day). Towards the end of his life, however, he had been working on a rewrite of a rediscovered early draft that described the supposedly unrecorded stage of the journey, and with more recent input from the writer Colin Thubron and Leigh Fermor's biographer, Artemis Cooper, a third volume has finally been published this month. The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos, by Patrick Leigh Fermor, is available from amazon.co.uk . Japan jaunt Royal Caribbean - the cruise line which, to mixed reviews, inaugurated the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in June with the arrival of the Mariner of the Seas - will be operating a cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo and back next spring. Due to depart Kai Tak on April 14, the enormous Voyager of the Seas will head up to Japan via Taiwan, arriving in Tokyo on April 20. The return trip leaves Tokyo on April 26 for a scheduled return to Hong Kong on May 1. So if you have 16 days to spare, this would make for a leisurely, old-fashioned turnaround cruise with enough shore time for several days' touring in Japan. Voyager of the Seas (pictured) is also scheduled to put into Kai Tak next month on her way to Singapore, and you might catch a glimpse of her in the news, as this will be the first arrival of the 2013-14 cruise season. The largest cruise liner in the world when launched in 1999, she has slipped down the size rankings in recent years, but is still a majestic vessel, comfortably carrying more than 3,100 passengers (so good luck at the buffet tables). For reservations and a virtual tour of the ship, visit www.royalcaribbean.com . Thai temptations With promises of "a host of fascinating Thai touches such as floating market boats gliding across the lagoons serving tropical beverages and three-wheeler tuk-tuks transporting guests around the resort" the Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa (pictured) opened this month. Anantara already had a handful of properties in the United Arab Emirates, but all of them located in Abu Dhabi. Residents of the UAE might enjoy the Thai flavour and "tasteful luxury" offered at the new resort but whether anyone living on this side of the Gulf of Thailand will be tempted to fly all that way remains to be seen. A visit to the resort website also suggests the architecture is more mid-range Malaysian than top-end Thai, but if you're heading to Dubai and fancy a bit of Southeast Asian atmosphere, you can find some special opening offers at dubai-palm.anantara.com . Deal of the week A compact tour of New Zealand's North Island is available from Westminster Travel, priced from HK$9,980 per person, twin share, for three nights' accommodation and a couple of excursions. The first night is spent in Auckland at either the Mercure Auckland Windsor or the Skycity Hotel, and then, following a northerly coach trip, two nights in picturesque Paihia at either the Kingsgate Autolodge or the more encouraging-sounding Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands. From Paihia, you'll be sent off on a Cape Reinga (pictured) and 90 Mile Beach tour, followed by a Hole in the Rock cruise aboard a dolphin- and whale-watching catamaran. For full details of the various options and surcharges for this package, which will be available until November 30 and includes flights with Air New Zealand, go to www.westminstertravel.com or call 2313 9800, quoting reference number 30586.