love cruising. More than a million took to the seas in 2014 – a milestone
that’s made Australia the fastest-growing market in the world – and this love
affair shows no sign of abating. If you’re new to Australian cruising, here are
five reasons you should get onboard.
1. More cruise lines, more often
home fleets – Carnival, P&O and Pacific Cruises – and a wealth of
international visits from the likes of Star Cruises, Holland, Cunard and
Celebrity Cruises, Australian cruising has really come of age. P&O recently
added two new vessels to its fleet – the Pacific
Aria and Pacific Eden – bringing
the total number of Australian-based ships to five, while international visitor
Princess Cruises has five of its 18-strong fleet here for the summer. Royal
Caribbean has also joined the Aussie summer cruising season, with billion-dollar
Ovations of the Seas, Australia’s
biggest cruise ship, joining its line-up for the first time.
2. More ships sailing from more
cruise lines home-porting their vessels outside of Sydney, it’s easier than
ever to cruise straight from your doorstep. P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria, Dawn, Pearl and Eden regularly cruise from Adelaide,
Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney. Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Sea is based in Brisbane for its first Australian season,
while Princess Cruises newcomer, Golden
Princess, is in Melbourne. Sea Princess and Sun Princess, the other ships in the Princess Cruises fleet, sail respectively
from Brisbane and Fremantle.
3. More destinations and specialty
Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Cape Town, Tonga and Honolulu are just
some of the exotic destinations on offer from the likes of P&O, Carnival and
Princess Cruises this year. From 2016, Holland America will offer a 29-night
Australian circumnavigation. Then there are the popular short breaks and themed
itineraries – P&O’s Melbourne Cup, Australia Day and gourmet cruises, plus Princess
Cruises and Cunard’s three- and four-night two-city sails. If you’re new to
cruising and want to test the waters, many of the cruise lines offer affordable
three- or four-night sampler cruises.
4. More onboard firsts and fun
of exciting first-at-sea innovations from all the big cruise ships. Fancy an
adrenaline rush? P&O Edge has a zip-line crossing the top deck, Carnival
Cruises’ Green Thunder Waterslide is the steepest and fastest at sea and Royal
Caribbean gives passengers the chance to skydive. Then there’s the bespoke and
celebrity chef eateries, spa and fitness centres, 3D cinemas, designer shops, make-your-own
cocktails, lavish penthouses, balcony suites and adult-only retreats. Celebrity
Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice has a country
club-inspired rooftop deck boasting a half-acre of real grass, putting course
and bocce courts.
5. More fun for every age
your age, there’s a cruise for everybody. Australian cruising is one of the
most democratic cruising options in the world with no single age group dominating.
As a general rule of thumb, shorter cruises tend to attract a younger audience
while school holidays are guaranteed family fun time. For a more mature crowd, choose
a longer cruise outside school holidays.