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Top Australian Cruises to Take in 2016

Whether you’re 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 Guinea.


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.


Carnival Cruise 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.


Royal Caribbean 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.


Another favourite 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.


Related Posts:

Top Ten Tips for Cruising on a Budget
The Top Five Princess Cruises Shore Excursions
The Best Royal Caribbean Cruises in January 2016

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