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Best Cruises on Pacific Aria in 2016

Pacific Aria is designed to feel like an upmarket hotel. The Swedish design company behind the new look, launched late last year, has revolutionised P&O’s Australian cruise offering and set a new standard in cruising excellence. In terms of its culinary and music offering, guests are spoiled from the moment they board. Here’s five of the best cruises you can book on Pacific Aria in 2016.


1. Depart Brisbane on April 5 for seven nights with stops in Hamilton Island, Cairns and Willis Island

This cruise is short enough for first timers to test their sea legs, but long enough for you to relax and enjoy some quality Queensland time. Hamilton Island, with its majestic hills, white beaches and plethora of adventurous water sports, is the perfect action-filled day-trip destination. Cairns will delight as you explore its indigenous history, while Willis Island, located 450 kilometres east of Cairns in the Coral Sea, is situated in almost perfect isolation.


2. Depart Sydney on May 23 for 11 nights with stops in Luganville, Champagne Bay, Vila, Mystery Island and the Isle of Pines

This is your chance to escape the cooling Sydney climate and relive summer with a cruise to the South Pacific. The temperature dial will be about six or seven degrees warmer as you dive into the glass-like waters of the South Pacific. Here you’ll discover palm trees, coconuts and the chance to start winter with a tan.


3. Depart Brisbane on July 29 for 10 nights with stops in Alotau (PNG), Kitava (Trobriand Islands), Rabaul (PNG), Kiriwina Island (Trobriand Islands) and the Conflict Islands (PNG)

Travelling to Papua New Guinea is easy on a cruise ship. Island-hopping aboard Pacific Aria takes the hassle out of navigating an area which is beautiful, but sometimes low on tourism infrastructure. PNG has an amazing tribal culture, raw adventures like no other place on earth, and unique jungle flora and fauna. Imagine waking to the sight of smouldering volcanoes and untouched beaches as you travel from island-to-island. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday that will give you bragging rights for many decades to come.


4. Depart Brisbane on August 15 for 18 nights with stops in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa

This cruise goes beyond the usual South Pacific stops to explore Tonga and Western Samoa. Tonga, slightly east of the International Date Line, is known as “the place where time begins”. Tonga is also famous for its whale watching (so keep an eye out from your balcony), along with great diving and snorkelling opportunities. Life in Western Samoa travels at its own pace – generally fairly slow and laid-back. This is one of the most appealing destinations in the cruise world, brimming with stunning sights and friendly locals.


5. Depart Brisbane on November 14 for 14 nights with stops in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and Fiordland National Park

Cruising has become the best way to visit our Kiwi neighbours. This two-week journey ticks all the boxes when it comes to New Zealand. You start on the North Island with the big-city lights of Auckland and finish by taking a scenic cruise through the isolated wilderness of the South Island’s Fiordland. Dunedin, with its Scottish feel and welcoming charm, will prove to be one of the highlights.

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