Bicton Travel is Perth’s leading travel agency, specialising in luxury travel and cruise holidays. Putting their clients at the centre of every journey, the Bicton Travel team ensure each client receives a quality, tailored service and an exceptional booking experience for their next dream holiday.
Managing Director Carole Smethurst founded Bicton Travel in 1998, and what started as a mother and son team quickly grew to become one of Australia’s most successful travel agencies. We are a nine-time CLIA Cruise Agency of the Year, and three-time AFTA Travel Agency of the Year.
Today, we remain a local Perth-based company operating from our offices in East Fremantle, Western Australia. With a recent addition of a second location, Bicton Travel is the parent company of Claremont Cruise and Travel Centre. We are proud members of Independent Travel Group, Virtuoso, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and are committed to ongoing Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) ATAS accreditation. Booking with an ATAS accredited travel agent means you can travel in confidence, knowing your travel arrangements are in safe hands.
In 2016 Carole Smethurst was inducted into the CLIA Cruise Hall of Fame for her service to the cruise industry. The CLIA Hall of Fame Award is a formal recognition to honour an individual whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the development of the cruise industry.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Small Cruise Agency of the Year 2022
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Hall of Fame Inductee Carole Smethurst, Bicton Travel Managing Director 2016
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Consultant of the Year Philip Smethurst, Bicton Travel Director 2010
National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) Best Travel Agency Retail Single Location Winner 2014, 2015, 2016
National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) Best Travel Agency Retail Single Location Finalist 2012, 2017, 2018,
National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) Best Travel Consultant Retail Winner Philip Smethurst, Bicton Travel Director 2015
National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) Retail Travel Agency of the Year People’s Choice Award 2018, 2019
APT Diamond Agency 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
Travel Daily Most Supportive Leisure Travel Agency 2020
Cruise Passenger Magazine Reader’s Choice Award Winner 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020
Travelscene American Express Office of the Year 2011
Phil is the co-founder and Director of Bicton Travel and is an expert in creating bespoke travel experiences for the luxury traveller. He has cruised extensively on most of the major cruise lines but prefers small ship and expedition cruising. Phil has immense knowledge of the world’s airlines, luxury cruise ships and exotic destinations. While he cannot choose one 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 Maldives. For the adventurous, he recommends an African Safari and has himself travelled in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He has also travelled to the Patagonia region of Chile –an adventurous experience he would highly recommend.
Carole is the founder and Managing Director of Bicton Travel. She moved to Australia from the UK in 1986 and established Bicton Travel after working as a consultant with Traveland. She specialised in cruising and is recognised as one of the foremost cruise experts in Australia. She has cruised the world extensively and in 2010 established Cruisefinder.com.au as an online cruise agency. In June 2016, Carole was honoured to be Australia's first travel agent to christen a new river ship and is the proud godmother to APT's luxury, 158 passenger Amastella. Also in 2016 Carole was inducted into the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) Hall of Fame. This formal recognition honours her efforts and accomplishments as a significant contribution to the development of the cruise industry.
With over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry, Nadia has established herself as a luxury travel advisor. Her love of discovery and adventure has led her to travel the globe extensively. Specialising in Europe, with Italy as her number one destination, she shares a great love for this country where her family comes from. Having cruised on several ships, Nadia enjoys sailing on small, boutique vessels on the likes of Ponant, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas.
Byron has been in the travel industry for over 26 years and is an expert cruise specialist. He has spent over 200 nights at sea on more than 30 cruises across all major cruise lines. This includes Holland America, Viking, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard and Princess just to name a few. Byron is familiar with cruising on ultra-luxury cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises and Silversea expeditions. As one of Bicton Travel’s most experienced advisors, he is passionate about helping all clients find the perfect ship for them.
Lee Van Dongen
Lee has been in the travel industry since 2009. He has extensive knowledge of cruising and has travelled with many of the major lines, both in Australia and internationally. He has cruised on P&O, Princess, Cunard, Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean International, Avalon, U River Cruises, Viking, Oceania, Dream Cruises and MSC, just to name a few. Lee once took a year’s sabbatical from work and used the time to travel throughout Europe. He explored the Mediterranean, as well as visited the UK, Spain, south of France and has extensively travelled through Italy, Eastern and Central Europe. He has travelled to Asia, many destinations in Australia and the South Pacific, South America and parts of the USA. His favourite destination is Chicago, and his favourite cruise lines are Oceania, Cunard and Viking Cruises.
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, throughout 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 including a Danube river cruise with Evergreen, the Rhine with Avalon, a Canadian Rockies tour with APT including the Rocky Mountaineer, a Globus Tour of Croatia & Poland and Greece with Insight Vacations. She is an expert in Iceland and loves advising clients wishing to visit this incredible country.
Ben has recently joined the Bicton Travel team and has been working in travel since finishing his Diploma of Travel and Tourism. When he’s not off travelling the world, he’s playing footy or supporting his team Essendon. One of his favourite countries to explore is Canada, in particular the spectacular scenery and snowboarding in Banff and Whistler. He’s travelled through Mexico and Belize taking in the sun, going snorkelling and enjoying plenty of nightlife. He loves any destination that has great views, particularly if there’s a cold drink in his hand. He’s looking forward to exploring Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Scandinavia, Sri Lanka, the USA, South America and one day sailing in Croatia.
Karen has been in the travel industry for over 30 years and has extensive knowledge of some of the world’s most popular destinations. One her favourite holidays is a winter trip to Canada where she embraced the full winter experience including dog sledding, snow shoeing and cosying up with a hot chocolate in the forest. She also loved spending time touring Croatia with Scenic and took a coach tour exploring picturesque cities such as Zagreb, plus the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2009 she christened the AmaWaterways river ship AmaDolce in Durnstein, Austria during the ships inaugural launch. Over the years she has cultivated an impressive knowledge of river cruising in Europe and has travelled throughout the UK, plus taken iconic train journeys such as the Eurostar. She even once did a month long self-driving trip of New Zealand. Her expertise extends to Asia, particularly southeast Asia, as she has spent time in Thailand, Malaysia, Bali and Singapore. Her passion for travel includes cruising and she has sailed with many of the top lines, including the Pacific Sun in Australia and the Scenic Spirit through Vietnam and Cambodia. Karen is a wealth of knowledge and has great recommendations for all her clients.
David began his career over 15 years ago in an online travel agency specialising in flights all over the world. He now works behind the scenes looking after our product and technology. David has travelled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Kenya, North and South America. His most memorable trip was travelling by luxury train through India the Deccan Odyssey. One of David’s most epic trips would have to be when he visited the ancient ruins of Machu Pichu.
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. She now works behind the scenes handling the company accounts. She has travelled to the USA, Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Mauritius, Maldives, Europe and extensively throughout 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 cruised the Kimberly with Silversea onboard Silver Discoverer, which is her highlight to date and thinks it should be on everyone’s bucket list. As well as cruising, she enjoys family adventures with her young kids and husband.
Since graduating from University with a Bachelor of Tourism, Katie has developed a passion to build a career within the travel industry. Katie loves ski tips and all things snow! Niseko Japan being the highlight, with what she says is the best snow and cultural experience, for all skier levels with a variety of different slopes and resorts. Katie has also skied in New Zealand and majority of the ski resorts in Australia. She has also loved Mauritius and Thailand as tropical destinations, and has recently returned from Europe, where she cruised the Mediterranean with Princess.
Michele has worked in travel since 2005 and is a wealth of knowledge for travellers seeking the perfect cruise experience. Her favourite destinations include Norway, France, Singapore, New Zealand, Vietnam and Cambodia. When travelling, she loves discovering regional food and unique experiences, such as enjoying the Tulip Festival at the Keukenhof in Amsterdam or having an Arctic adventure in Svalbard. She has a passion for cruising and has sailed on many of the major lines and is an expert in both river and ocean cruising. She is a CLIA Cruise Ambassador and in 2019 was selected as one of the initial top 10 agents for the prestigious Viking Valhalla club. When she is not busy travelling or cruising, she enjoys her creative pursuits such as upcycling and DIY projects, floristry and settling down with a good book.
Having started her career in the cruise industry over 15 years ago, Alisha has built her career in travel and tourism marketing for some of Australia’s most recognisable travel brands. As a former brand executive at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, she has extensive experience cruising in Australia and New Zealand, however enjoys long cruises in the Mediterranean, stopping off at exciting European cities along the way. She was lucky enough to be one of the first to step onboard RCI’s Oasis of the Seas, a game-changing new design of ship when it debuted. She has also cruised on Azamara and Celebrity Cruises. One of her unexpectedly favourite cruises was Alaska in 2019. She recently returned from Europe, where she took her young family throughout the UK, Germany and France.
Originally from the UK, Julie has been in the travel industry for 32 years and is a highly experienced and knowledgeable advisor. Her favourite destinations to holiday are Europe, Japan, Canada and New York. She also enjoys cruising and has cruised with most of the major cruise lines including on both ocean and river cruises. She is an expert in family cruising (especially as she has two daughters), is a Club Med top agent and an expert on ski holidays in Japan, where she has travelled several times with her family.