New Zealand has always been a popular summer destination. The great attractions of beaches, bays, wineries, Maori culture and geothermal parks are always better when the sun is shining.
New Zealand cruises are the perfect way to travel, and New Zealand is the perfect cruise destination. The two main islands are easily circumnavigated during a two-week jaunt, plus the many sights vary from dramatic fiords to vineyards, Maori culture and big city life.
When you sail into Auckland, there are no prizes for guessing why local Maori originally named the harbour Waitemata (“sparkling waters”); it really is one of the world’s most dazzling waterways. Skirting past a handful of ruggedly picturesque islands – some of them bird sanctuaries, others forged in the fires of volcanoes – you’ll want to have secured a place at the railing. Be sure to have your camera to hand as your vessel may well be accompanied by dolphins or, at certain times of year, whales.
When it comes to New Zealand cruises that pass the South Island, make sure your itinerary includes Port Chalmers, the gateway to the great southern city of Dunedin. Originally settled by hardy Scots and founded on gold mining and hard graft, today the city is famous for its impressive beaches, historic buildings and university culture. A mere 20 minutes (13km) by bus or train from port to the centre of town, the Otago Museum is perfect for getting your historical bearings. Open 365 days a year, it tells the stories of early Maori and colonial settlers, from gold miners to Chinese market gardeners, farmers to mariners.
Brisbane has always been a major shipping port, but has only relatively recently become a leisure cruise port as well. Since 2009, P&O Australia have used Brisbane as homeport for Pacific Dawn and will expand capacity when the latest mid-sized ship carrying 1500 passengers, Pacific Aria, arrives for both summer and winter seasons in 2015-16. Cruisers will have the choice of long or short cruises from Brisbane to satisfy their urge to holiday at sea on modern, fun ships. Here are a selection of short cruises from Brisbane to whet your appetite for Australia’s fastest-growing holiday choice.
cruise to the South Pacific is all about relaxation. While those water views
provide plenty of opportunities for R&R while out on the open ocean, you
also get to see what lies beneath the surface when you stop off at one of the
pretty ports of call. After just a few days at sea, you will feel like you’re
in a far-off place as you hear the exotic French and Melanesian accents. While
island hopping, set your clock to “unhurried” and take the time to mooch around
a market, squeak some white sand underfoot, or simply find a glorious bit of
beach where you can snorkel while the sun warms your back. Here are a few
aquamarine-hued itineraries guaranteed to seduce you to the charms of the South
It could be argued that New Zealand was made to
explore by ship. A country of two islands surrounded by water, it’s famous for
mystical landscapes, from soaring snow-capped mountain peaks and ethereal
fjords, to grape-laden wine country and the beautiful valleys as seen in the Lord of the Rings movies. In recent
years there’s been a sharp increase in the number of cruise lines crossing the
Tasman from Australia to explore our neighbour, dubbed the Land of the Long
White Cloud, and for good reason. What’s on offer for cruise fans is an
opportunity to enjoy many of New Zealand’s natural gems such as the southern
fiords, and experience its quaint coastal communities and fascinating Maori
A short-break cruise is just the thing for first-timers,
time-poor and seasoned cruisers alike and Sydneysiders have lots to choose from,
pretty much year-round. Just think – no flights involved and no traffic to
battle on the way to your weekend getaway – you turn up at the cruise terminal,
board the ship and get straight into relaxing cruise mode.
New Zealand is just across the ditch from Australia and
Princess Cruises’ latest ship to start cruising regularly in Australasia, Golden Princess, is making the most of sailing
from its summer homeport of Melbourne to all ports NZ.
looking for a bargain break or an exotic getaway, there’s nothing like jumping
on board a cruise ship from a port near you. In 2016, 10 Australia-based ships
will cruise all year round, while many overseas ships spending the summer Down
Under are sailing in our region until April, then coming back again in October
for the 2016-17 season.