Jasmine Kyle

Team Leader
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Jasmine’s been in the travel industry since 2006. Cruising is her passion having cruised on Silversea, Viking, Azamara, Princess and Cunard to name a few. During her career, her most memorable voyage cruising onboard the Silver Muse from Athens into the port of Valletta, Malta which she describes as one of the most spectacular cruise ports in the world.

Jasmine Recommends:

Destination: Malta

Ship: Silver Muse
Hotel: Hotel Esprit Saint Germain, Paris
Tip: Invest in a Portable Charger and ensure it’s charged before leaving each day, that way you won’t miss out on capturing stunning moments


Connie La Macchia

Travel & Cruise Advisor
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist​

Connie has worked in the travel industry for 25+ years and some of her favourite memories are traveling through South America, photographing Machu Picchu, witnessing Aurelia Borealis, and relaxing on the Croatia islands. These memories, and many more, fuel her passion to craft personalized travel experiences for others. Connie’s bucket-list is as vast as the planet is huge with Egypt, Alaska and Cuba high on the list. Whilst away her favourite pastime apart from sight seeing is discovering the food and wines of the local areas she visits.

“I do believe it’s time for another adventure, because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.”

Connie Recommends:

Destination: New York City

Ship: Seabourn Sojourn
Dreams Luxury Suites Santorini
Tip Allow plenty of time of Travel Visas to be processed and returned before departure.


Julie McMillan

Travel & Cruise Advisor
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist​

Julie has worked in the travel industry for over 25 years, most of this time was spent working in England for a major cruise retailer. She has travelled extensively around Europe and America and cruised around numerous destinations including Norway, the Mediterranean, Baltic and the Caribbean. After living in Stockholm, Sweden for several years she joined us at Bicton Travel in 2015.

Julie Recommends:

Destination: Prague

Ship: Oasis of the Seas

Hotel: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
Tip: Always consider a cruise when travelling with children, both my girls have been cruising since they were 6 months old, it really is a relaxing holiday for Mum and Dad.

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Phil Smethurst

CLIA Master Cruise Specialist​

Phil is the co-founder of Bicton Travel with his mother Carole and manages our Bicton Travel Premium division, creating bespoke travel experiences for the luxury traveller. He has cruised on most of the worlds cruise lines and says small ship and expedition style cruising is his favourite.

Phil has immense knowledge of the world’s airlines, luxury cruise ships and exotic destinations. Whilst he cannot choose one particular favourite city he ranks Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Singapore and Sydney as some of his favourites. For a relaxing vacation, his go-to destination is the Amalfi Coast, and he has enjoyed fabulous beach breaks in The Seychelles and The Maldives. For the adventurous, he recommends an African Safari and has himself travelled in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A recent trip to the Patagonia region of Chile was also an adventurous experience he would highly recommend.

Phil Recommends:

Destination: Amalfi Coast

Ship: Le Lyrial
Hotel: Huvafen Fushi (The Maldives)
Tip: Slow down, spend more time in fewer places

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Carole Smethurst

Director & Godmother of Amastella
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Available by Appointment: Mon – Wed from 9am to 1pm

Carole is the owner of Bicton Travel, Bicton Travel Premium and She moved to Australia from the UK more than 25 years ago and established Bicton Travel after working as a consultant with Traveland. She specialized in cruising and is recognised as one of the foremost cruise experts in Australia. She has cruised the world extensively and in 2010 established as an online cruise agency to cater for the ever growing internet market.

She has recently added Bicton Travel Premium office to the stable catering for the luxury traveller. In June 2016 Carole was honoured to be Australia’s first travel agent to christen a new river vessel. Carole is now proud Godmother to APT’s Amastella. Carole has most recently awarded and inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame. The CLIA Hall of Fame Award is a formal recognition to honour an individual whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to or noteworthy achievement that has positively impacted the development of the cruise industry.

Carole Recommends:

Destination: Antarctica
“trip of a lifetime”

Ship: No favourites but like small, fully inclusive ships and go for itinerary over ship

Hotel: Marincanto, Positano

Tip: Travel with an international adaptor plus a small Powerboard….you won’t need a separate adaptor for every device

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Nadia Redman

Luxury Travel Advisor
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Nadia has worked in the travel industry since 2002 and joined Bicton Travel Premium in 2017. Prior to Bicton Travel, Nadia owned and managed her own travel agency. Nadia’s specialities include cruising, travel to Africa and Europe, especially Italy from where her family originate. Having travelled extensively around Italy, this region is very dear to Nadia and a place she likes to call her second home.

Her passion for travel developed from a young age, following a family holiday to Fiji. Nadia believes that travel broadens one’s horizons and exposes one to the fascinating cultures of the world. Whilst Nadia enjoys luxury city stays, she is also fond of adventure travel to unique places such as Bora Bora, Cost Rica and Kenya. Nadia’s favourite cities include Budapest, Madrid, New York and Rome. A recent trip to Uganda to see the Gorillas has been her most memorable to date.

Nadia Recommends:

Destination: Uganda
“An experience like no other”

Ship: True North

Hotel: J.K. Place Roma
Tip: Do what the locals do. Step out from the main tourist hubs to experience the true culture of the destination

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Byron Horne

Team Leader
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Byron joined our team in 2016. He has been in the travel industry for over 26 years and his experience is wide and varied having worked in South Africa, the UK and now Australia which he has called home for over 10 years. Cruising is his passion having spent over 190 nights with over 28 cruises on various cruise lines such at Cunard, Viking Ocean, Silversea, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, Start Clipper and Crystal Cruises.

Byron is the team leader for our Journeys and Cruisefinder teams

Byron Recommends:

Destination: New York

Ship: Crystal Symphony.  The most incredible, luxurious experience with attentive service, beautiful food and gorgeous ship
Hotel: The “Taj” group of hotels in India is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed
Tip: Arrange and pay for as much as possible prior to departure, so all there is left to do on holiday is relax and enjoy!

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Matt Clements

Cruise & Journeys Specialist
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Matt joined our team in 2007 and has a wealth of experience in the travel industry. With extensive knowledge and a keen passion for cruising, Matt is fortunate enough to have just completed his 36th cruise this year, giving him firsthand experience on a variety of ships and different cruise lines. The luxury of cruising coupled with the varied and beautiful destinations, is the ultimate drawcard for Matt, making it his ideal way to travel.

He’s cruised the Caribbean with Oceania and Royal Caribbean, Alaska with Holland America, Asia with Princess Cruises, Azamara, Scenic, Viking, Star Clippers & Orion expeditions, Europe with Seabourn, Silversea, Carnival, Celebrity, Spirit of Adventure & Scenic just to name a few! And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also been lucky enough to experience expedition cruising to the Arctic with Silversea, Galapagos with M/Y Isabela II and to Tahiti with Haumana. When it comes to cruising, Matt’s rich and diverse experiences will help him find the perfect cruise for you.

Matt Recommends:

Destination: Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Ship: Oceania’s Riviera
Alila Villas – Uluwatu
Purchase your tour and sight-seeing passes prior to departure, saving you money and enabling you to cut the queue!

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Hollie McCann

Cruise & Journeys Specialist
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Since Hollie started in the travel industry in 2004, she has been lucky enough to travel to many parts of the world including Australia, India, Europe, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Canada/Alaska, UK, USA, South East Asia, Japan, Hong Kong, UAE, South Pacific, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Hollie has cruised with many different cruise lines in various destinations as well as experienced a Danube river cruise with Evergreen, a Canadian Rockies tour with APT including the Rocky Mountaineer and a Globus tour of Croatia.

Her favourite cruise destination is Alaska & the Inside Passage with her favourite shore excursion being flown by helicopter to the top of a glacier to go dog sledding. In 2016 Hollie was nominated in the AFTA National Travel Industry awards category of Best Travel Consultant – Retail and became a finalist, making it to the top 5 in Australia. This was a great honour and a humbling experience for Hollie as she loves and is passionate about what she does and enjoys using her knowledge and experience to help plan dream holidays for her clients.

Hollie Recommends:

Destination: Iceland, India and Canada

Ship: Holland America Line’s Koningsdam

Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs

Tip: Break out of your comfort zone and keep an open mind. No two countries or cultures are the same. Embrace the differences and don’t be afraid.

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Michele Fraser

Cruise & Journeys Specialist
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Michele has worked in the travel industry since 2005 and has worked in retail, wholesale and corporate travel. She has worked at Bicton Travel since 2012. Michele has cruised with P&O (Australia), Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines and her personal favourite, Azamara Club Cruises.

Her river cruise experience includes cruises with Cruiseco on the Mekong, Avalon Waterways on the Rhine and Riviera Travel on the Rhone. Amongst the places she has visited her favourite places are New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius and her favourite experiences are walking along the Great Wall of China and climbing Fox Glacier. Michele is our Cruiseco Ambassador specialising in Cruiseco charters and exclusive packages and is also our Solo Traveller Ambassador. She looking forward to experiencing Sri Lanka in late 2018

Michele Recommends:

Destination: Vietnam
Ship: Azamara Quest
Hotel: Long Beach Hotel, Mauritius
Tip: Pack half the clothes you think you will need, keeping important space for your holiday purchases.

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Martina Bei

Reception & Travel Consultant Support
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Martina joined us in 2018 in a reception and agent support role. This is her first job in the travel industry and loves helping the consultants and learning everything the industry has to offer. 

Martina has travelled to various Asian countries and has already enjoyed her first cruise on Princess Cruises. 

She is a member of our Journeys and Cruisefinder team and was recently awarded the “People’s choice” awards at our annual Bicton Travel awards for 2018/19 

Martina Recommends:

Destination: Bangkok
Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok
Ship: Majestic Princess 
Tip: Eat the local food! Food is the best way to connect with people and culture. In learning about the local food, you can learn about the country at a deeper level rather than its famous landmarks.


Lee Van Dongen

Cruise Consultant
CLIA Master Cruise Specialist

Lee has been in the travel industry since 2009 & is the Cruisefinder reservations Supervisor, He became fascinated by the cruise industry and has grown to be a very knowledgeable cruise expert.

He has been on P&O, Princess, Cunard, Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean & Avalon. Lee decided to take a years sabbatical from work and travel extensively through Europe & the Mediterranean, he visited the UK, Spain, South of France, Extensive travel through Italy, Eastern and Central Europe. He has travelled to Asia, all of Australia and South Pacific Region, His favourite land destination is Poland and his favourite cruise line is Princess Cruises.

Lee recommends:

Destination: Poland

Ship: Royal Princess
Royal Tulip, Rio
Where possible prepay your gratuities. One less thing to worry about.


Tanya Bancroft

Cruise Consultant
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Tanya’s passion for travel started with Bali then lead her to work for an Indonesian Wholesaler for 14 years until they closed. Following this she joined another Indonesian Wholesaler for 18 months until she decided it was time for a change. Tanya joined Cruisefinder in August 2018 and did her first cruise on Carnival Legend. Since then she has also sailed on Majestic Princess. She is looking forward to doing many more cruises and learning all there is to know about the cruising industry.

Tanya recommends:

Destination: Bali
Cruise Line:
Carnival – Great for families!
Hotel: Samaya Seminyak
Tip: If you can pre book the tours you would like to do to avoid missing out and being disappointed.

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Fiona Armaro

Accounts & Administration Manager
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Fiona began her career in Travel as a Reservations Consultant with a major Australian Wholesaler. Her people skills led her to Bicton Travel in 2002. Since starting a family, she now works behind the scenes handling the company accounts and works closely with the administration and management team.

She has travelled to USA, Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Mauritius, Maldives, Europe and extensively in Asia. Fiona has cruised from Fremantle onboard Superstar Virgo, Sun Princess to Asia, Rhapsody of the Seas from Honolulu to Sydney, around New Zealand onboard mv Discovery, in Asia onboard Cunard QE2, the Mexican Riviera onboard Sapphire Princess, cruised Europe on Carnival Magic and the South Pacific onboard Pacific Princess and P&O Pacific Star. She most recently cruised with Silversea onboard Silver Discoverer in the Kimberly which is her highlight to date and thinks it should be on everyone’s bucket list. Family adventures with her young family are next.

Fiona Recommends:

Destination: Venice & Kimberly Region

Ship: Carnival Magic
Hotel: Gili Lankanfushi – Maldives (formally Soneva Gili)
Tip: Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer

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Barry Downs

Sales & Marketing Manager
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

Barry started his travel career in 1997 in the French Alpes. For the next 6 years, he divided his summers between the Mediterranean beach resorts and winters to the ski resorts of France, Switzerland and Andorra. Moving to Australia in 2003 he joined Holland America Line as State Sales Manager and later National Sales Manager.

Having spent more than 40 days cruising on the “Dam Ships” he has also personally experienced, Carnival (5 ships), Windstar, Ponant (3 ships), Tauck, Silversea, Celebrity, Celestyal, Star Cruises, Dream Cruises, Hurtigruten, P&O UK, Royal Caribbean & Norwegian. Barry’s favourite recent cruise experience was a self-drive Le Boat holiday in the Venice Lagoon. His top 3 ocean ships are Wind Surf, ms Amsterdam, and Le Ponant. Barry joined Bicton travel in 2013

Barry Recommends:

Destination: Cuba & Spain

Ship: Windsurf (Windstar Cruises)
Port Aventura Hotel – perfect for a family pre-cruise stay (Barcelona)
When cruising always budget for at least one speciality dining experience in the onboard signature restaurant.

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Alex Cork

Product Assistant
CLIA Ambassador Cruise Specialist

Alex started working at Bicton Travel in 2017 as a receptionist with no prior travel expertise. He quickly developed a passion for travel & our Journeys Packages. Pursuing this he moved into the role of Product Assistant. Alex’s favourite destination is Canada, with his highlights being the Rocky Mountaineer Train, the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, and eating breakfast with Grizzly Bears on Grouse Mountain.

Alex Recommends:

Destination: Canada & Alaska
Majestic Princess
Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Tip: Don’t plan too much, allow some free time for spontaneous activities

David Armstrong

I.T & Digital Marketing Manager
CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist

David recently became Bicton Travel’s IT & Digitial Marketing manager, he has travelled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Kenya, North & South America with his highlight being a Bunnik tour through Peru, Buenos Aires, Macchu Pichu and Iguazu.

David’s next travel destination is Uganda to experience the once in a lifetime experience seeing the Gorillas in the wild!

David Recommends:

Destination: Peru
Ship: Viking Orion
Hotel: Taj Palace Mumbai
Tip: Make sure you let your bank know you are travelling. There is nothing more annoying on holidays than spending hours on the phone to the bank back home because your card doesn’t work!