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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Cruising

Australians 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

With three 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 ports

With 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 cruises

Singapore, 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

Expect lots 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

No matter 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.

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