Australia & Pacific Ocean
Australia & Pacific Ocean
Australia and South Pacific
Lets face it, Australia and New Zealand are a long way from home but it's a holiday destination which offers us Brits a multitude of experiences that we'll be hard pushed to find somewhere else. No more so than on a cruise. Prospective cruise passengers to the regions are often daunted by the long flight times and expensive air-fares, however, many take the oppertunity to include a pre or post cruise stay during their trip. Flying to Sydney and taking in the Opera House, Manley Beaches and the Harbour Bridge are just some of the pre cruise experiences in Australia that rarely disappoint. Itineraries range from short hops to the Great Barrier Reef, exploration cruises around Australia's Northwest Kimberly coast or even complete circumnavigations and longer itineraries visiting New Zeland and beyond into the South Pacific. Extending your stay further to explore Australia's other great landmarks or taking a road trip through New Zealand are both possible.
So for those of you thinking of heading Down Under, a cruise can really enhance your trip, starting with an excusrion to the Great Barrier Reef. If you're heading to Eastern Australia the world famous 'Great Barrier Reef' will most certainly be on your 'to do' list. Cairns is the main gateway to explore this fascinating underwater UNESCO World Heritage site. Most big cruise lines will stop and offer day trips as part of a Queensladn itinerary but we think the best way to experience it is part of a wider land-based programme.A dream voyage aound the coast of Australia, on to New Zealand or through the South Pacific islands of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga showcase the best the region has to offer. As our quest for the remote and the exotic continues to grow, many luxury cruise lines are expanding their schedules in this region to take in The Soloman Islands and New Caledonia, as well as the remote islands that make up French Polynesia.
The remote Chilean outpost of Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) dubbed 'the most isolated place on Earth' can also be visited on longer cruises with its black lava cliffs lashed by the clearest waters in the world. The Marquesas Islands, The Tamotus Islands and the Cook Islands are also appearing on these extended itineraries as well as on some 'Round the World' voyages.
Itineraries to this region will often focus on the diverse and fascinating cultures to be found here with many of the luxury cruise lines featuring within their 'Expedition' programmes with interesting lectures and tours bringing it to life. With an abundance of aqua-marine life and coral reefs, snorkelling is also a favourite activity as is all manner of other water srport activites. Choose a ship with retractable water sports platforms and you have the option to water-ski, kayok or windsurf straight from the vessel.
Kimberly Coast: Once a well-kept secret Australia's wild Northwest coast is becoming an increasinly popular cruise destination with big ships including it in circumnavaigations and smaller ships like Silversea featuring the region within its 'Epedition' style cruises. Or you can really get under its skin with a comprehensive exploration itinerary from the likes of National Geographic Expeditions. The National Geographic Orion sails a 10 night itinerary from Darwin to Brooome exploring the sandstone hills of the Bungle Bungles, the vertical canyons and plunging waterfalls of the King George River, the ancestral culture of the native Aboriginal people at Vansittart Bay, Crocodile Creek and lots more besides. Accomponied by naturalists and National Geographic's own certifies photographers there are talks and hands-on instruction along the wat, so you'll definately get the most out of your trip to one of the world's last real wildeness.
If you're into music and looking for something a bit whacky then Royal Caribbean offer a 'Rock the Boat' 7 nights round trip out of Brisbane billed as a 'Salute to the Sixties' with performances from international and Australian Rock n' Roll artists from yester-year. Oh and it visits the Isle of Pines and it the 6th year in operation with charter company Cruiseco,
Although Australia can be visited year round generally the best time to cruise if October to April wiht most departures and varied itineraries during this perios. Unless that is your visiting the Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef, which is best visited in our summer months (June through to August).