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.
P&O’s fleet of
five ships – Pacific Aria, Eden, Dawn, Jewel and Pearl – offer cruises ranging from two
to 18 nights from Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.
You can take your pick of destinations, from coastal hops around Australia to
New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Indonesia and Papua New
Special events such
as Australia Day and the Melbourne Cup are celebrated at sea and P&O
Cruises also offers themed SeaBreak cruises, including the popular three-night
comedy and food-and-wine itineraries.
Line’s two Sydney-based ships, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit,
operate eight-, nine- and 10-night cruises to the Pacific islands all year, plus
a couple of short trips to Tasmania and a five-night Melbourne Cup cruise.
Princess Cruises has
three of its 18 ships in Australia year-round (Dawn, Sea and Sun Princess),
while Diamond Princess is sailing out
of Sydney until March and Golden Princess is cruising from Melbourne until
April and then returning in November. The ships offer similar itineraries to
Carnival and P&O, while Sun Princess
is setting off on a 104-day world cruise, round-trip from Sydney, in May.
International’s ships are regular visitors to our shores. Until April – and
returning in November – Radiance, Explorer and Voyager of the Seas are sailing out of Sydney and Legend of the Seas is based in Brisbane
for its first season. Explorer and Voyager are the largest ships in terms
of passenger numbers to cruise in Australia, but they will be eclipsed by the
new 4180-passenger Ovation of the Seas,
which arrives in December 2016. Like its sister ships Quantum and Anthem of the
Seas, Ovation will sport fabulous
features such as a skydiving simulator.
Between them, the
Royal Caribbean ships offer three- to 14-night cruises around Australia and to
New Zealand, Tasmania and the Pacific islands. Celebrity Cruises, which is part of the Royal Caribbean family, is
sending its ‘modern luxury’ ships Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Millennium
to Australia – Solstice will be here
until April and back again in November, sailing to New Zealand and the Pacific
islands, and Millennium will be here
in March for a brief visit. A highlight of Celebrity
Solstice’s season is a 35-night circumnavigation of Australia in February.
overseas cruise line that regularly sends ships Down Under is Holland America Line. Its 1924-passenger MS Noordam,
on its first visit to Australasia, offers 12- to 29-night cruises around
Australia and to New Zealand and the Pacific islands. MS Noordam had a substantial makeover in April 2015 and among its
new features is the BB King Blues Club, a dynamic eight-piece live show
experience that takes place every night in the Queen’s Lounge.
With so many ships
and destinations to choose from, Aussie cruisers are spoilt for choice in 2016.
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