It’s one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets, attracting local and foreign travelers who want to see the sights of this isolated continent and surrounding Pacific islands. Thus, Australian cruises either start on the continent, in a city like Sydney, or arrive from New Zealand, Southeast Asia, or another area of the Pacific, like Hawaii. Why is Australia so popular? Australia cruises are ideal for winter vacations because the seasons are reversed down under. The island’s isolation created a unique ecosystem, with animals and plants you can’t find anywhere else.
Although older cruise ships used to go to this continent, more and more cruise lines are going there. As of 2012, three Royal Caribbean ships depart from Sydney, and Princess, Holland America, Carnival, Silversea, and Seabourn also have ships on the continent. The average vacation lasts about two weeks, with the exception of transatlantic and repositioning cruises.
Most Australian cruises stop in both Australia and New Zealand, unless they start in the Pacific or Southeast Asia. Despite being close and having British roots, the two countries are very different. In general, Australia tends to be a flat country with cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne. New Zealand, on the other hand, is often described as a rugged land with glaciers and fjords. New Zealand has a wetter, rainier climate and greener landscape than Australia, even though typhoon season affects them more.
Cruise lines and types have different itineraries. On a basic trip, a ship starts in Auckland, New Zealand or Sydney and travels to Melbourne, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Tasmania. On the other hand, luxury trips stop at smaller, less traditional ports. Also, keep in mind that not all cruises allow travelers to see the Great Barrier Reef; unless the cruise stops near Cairns or Brisbane and offers scuba diving or exploration excursions, a fair percentage of travelers won’t get to see it.
As part of their vacation plans, many travelers need to consider how to get to Australia or New Zealand. It’s best to fly into Sydney or Auckland if you’re going on a cruise within the continent. For longer trips, though, a traveler may start in Southeast Asia, like Singapore, or arrive in Hawaii, and then fly home from the destination.