Published on : Friday, June 13, 2014
It was a tough long-weekend for 30 Australian trade, bloggers and media, as they sipped on champagne, snorkelled through pristine lagoons, attended VIP parties, sampled French cuisine and relaxed in luxury accommodation, to celebrate the launch of Aircalin’s Melbourne to New Caledonia flight last week.
The group departed Melbourne on Friday 6 June for the inaugural Aircalin flight, starting the celebrations early with French champagne and business class meals, whilst savouring the sunset from the sky.
The group were then greeted with a traditional New Caledonian welcome by local Kanak musicians, before everyone was presented with handmade floral leis and whisked off to a French infused VIP reception hosted by Le Meridien Noumea.
An eventful itinerary followed over the next four days, inclusive of accommodation at the Chateau Royal Beach Resort and Spa and the Hilton La Promenade Noumea, shopping at Port Moselle Markets, day trips to the Isle of Pines and L’Escapade Hotel, beach relaxation, and completed with a cocktail party hosted by the President of New Caledonia, Madame Ligeard at the Chateau Royal.
The group balanced their daily island exploration and activities with an ample diet of New Caledonia’s delicious gastronomic delights, every mouthful a unique blend of French cuisine and local produce. Over the course of the weekend guests sampled New Caledonia’s famous prawns, Isle of Pines escargot cooked in garlic and French butter, local fruits and of course, the iconic croissants, macaroons and champagne.
Aircalin’s new services depart twice weekly from Melbourne on Tuesdays and Fridays in both directions and will increase to three services per week from late October. All flights are full-service offering complimentary meals and beverages along with one piece of luggage up to 23 kilograms at no additional cost.
Flying Aircalin, New Caledonia is two hours from Brisbane, less than three hours from Sydney and now with the new direct flight, just under four hours from Melbourne. New Caledonia is ideal for a week-long getaway, with travellers able to depart on Friday and arrive in time for a delicious, authentic French dining experience to start their unique island escape.