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Cruise Heaven by Michelle Marvig

When I was first asked to take a tour group on a cruise, little did I know how much I would love it! I have always loved to travel, exploring new destinations around the world. However, the down side of travel can be living out of suitcases and the need to change cities and hotels in order to see more places. Then I went on a cruise. Wow, unpack once, in one comfortable cabin and then the destinations come to you! No need to find transport to go to dinner, or book ahead for a live concert. Pools, bars, movies, live concerts, shopping, beauty parlour, gym (well it is a nice idea), even bumper cars and rock climbing walls on some ships. The facilities are amazing and the touring very relaxing. Throw in a patchwork class and you have an ideal holiday for a quilter.

Craft Fair Sea Nz March 201
Craft Fair Sea Nz March 2019

In March 2019 Travelrite and Quilters Companion are again holding the Craft Fair at Sea. We are flying into Auckland, where we will spend our first night. We will do a city tour of Auckland the next morning, including a stop in Devonport to visit Cushla’s for our first patchwork shopping fix. They have a fabulous array of fabrics, including many kits in native New Zealand fabrics. The bags will already be groaning when we board the very swish Celebrity Solstice that afternoon. We will be shown to our cabins, can unpack, just once, and then will settle in for a cruise of a lifetime. Our first port of call will be Tauranga.

Shopping At Cushla%27s
Shopping At Cushla’s

Travelrite organise land tours in all ports of call, including places of local interest and patchwork if possible. From the port of Tauranga, we will travel to the Rotorua area to see the famous geyser display and bubbling mud. At this location we will also learn about Maori crafts, including weaving and carving. After our cultural visit, we head onto the award winning patchwork shop Cottage Flair. This colourful shop is full of samples, patterns fabrics and friendly staff, as well as a coffee shop! The following morning we will travel from our port and visit TWO patchwork shops : Katipatch Patchwork and Quilting Boutique. It always amazes me at how much different stock you can find in the individual shops. You can pick up any last minute items that you might need for the workshops,that start that afternoon.

See the jam-packed itinerary for this exciting quilting tour! 

Jane Mcdonald Teaching Sash
Jane McDonald Teaching
Workshop Onboard The Cruise
Workshop Onboard The Cruise

Learn about the amazing designers that will be on board!

The workshops offer a variety of hand sewing techniques. I am offering a Hexagon cushion with fussy cutting and embroidery, a block keeper with woven, pieced patchwork, a scrap quilt design and a circular , pieced sampler all based on one block, but learning to use your fabric for best advantage. Jane McDonald is returning to teach a variety of Japanese hand stitching techniques including Sashiko and Boro in bags,a brooch, and a tablerunner. Projects not too big to carry home! Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations joins us for the first time in 2019. Sharon presented the Sea Glass Cushion on the last DVD with QC#93. You can see more of Sharon’s modern EPP work in the gallery at the end of the DVD. You can get a closer look at Celestial Star and Flourish, both of which she is teaching on the cruise. I loved filming with Sharon, she was loads of fun and look forward to cruising with her too. Let her teach you tips and tricks for fussy cutting fabric for EPP, and better stitching techniques. Don’t worry about missing something on shore. All classes are held while the ship is cruising between ports.

Speaking of ports, the next is Wellington where again we do a city tour, visit Mount Victoria for a 360degree view of the city and travel out to Busy Bee quilt shop which has an amazing amount of fabric! The next port is Akaroa, which is the cutest little village and the location of the stunning mosaic garden called The Giants House. WOW! So much colour and design. All of this around the 1880 built house belonging to the first bank manager in town. Dunedin is our port on Day 8 and has a bit of a Scottish feel. We visit our fifth patchwork shop in this city. Lucky for our wallets that the next day we visit the Fiordland National Park and take the spectacular scenery of Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound.

Busy Bee Quilt Shop
Busy Bee Quilt Shop

After a few more days of classes we will land in the port of Hobart where we will again have a city tour and visit another two patchwork shops. The ship docks in the Constitution Dock area and the shopping and food here is great. The main part Hobart is also walking distance to the dock, so you can explore independently. I loved Hobart on our Ho-Fiji-Bart cruise (we were rerouted due to hurricane, but that is another story…). The final port is Melbourne where we will again help the local economy and visit Cutting Cloth and GJs Fabric quilt shops. And maybe have a coffee in one of the famous Melbourne cafes too!

The Craft Fair at Sea departs Sydney on the 28th March 2019 and returns to Sydney on the 12th April 2019. It will be 16 days of fun, friendship, laughter, learning, shopping, eating, and exploring. And we only need to unpack once! Come and join us and have some fun.

For more information on Travelrite’s Craft Fair at Sea to New Zealand, visit Travelrite International – Limited spots available!