The Cruise Guide

Everything you need to book your cruise
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Welcome to The Cruise Guide

Welcome to The Cruise Guide - the ultimate tool to help you choose the perfect cruise. Inside, you’ll find videos, round-ups, ships and destinations. It’s been produced by the team at Cruise Passenger - the region’s number one independent publication. We don’t sell cruises - we’re only interested in getting you on the right ship. So just how do you know what’s right for you?

 

How to Choose Your Cruise

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1. How to Choose Your Cruise

Travel agents who specialise in selling cruises are taught a vital lesson; get a new cruise passenger on the right ship, and they will cruise for life. Get them on the wrong one, and they will never sail again.

Getting aboard the perfect ship is crucial to the success of your trip. And, because of the astonishing array of vessels out there, from white-gloved luxury to fun activities like waterslides and rock climbing, you’ll need help.

Our experts have put together this helpful list of questions to ask yourself – and your travel companions! – before settling on a final package.

  1. Who is going?

Will there be kids? People with disabilities who need special facilities or access? Teens who want action activities? Foodies? Culture vultures? Make a list of what they like and decide what the common features are.

All ocean and river cruise ships include food, accommodation, destination and entertainment, but some specialise in food, culture, big shows and water parks. Waterslides up to ten stories and race tracks are fun – but not for everyone.

Try these categories and decide which one is the best fit

Contemporary and big ships – usually for families with kids and multi-generational groups. Lots of free activities, entertainment and kids clubs included.

Premium –  cruising for grown-ups who like good quality and value across the board. Broadway shows, specialty restaurants.

Upper premium – more inclusions (sometimes wine and beer with meals), fewer passengers and wider corridors and bigger cabins, more food choices and more exclusive shore excursions. Better quality spas and spa treatments.

Luxury – Bubbles, butlers and all-inclusive all the way! Expect to be pampered, wined and dined as never before.

Adventure and expedition – prepare to meet new cultures, see amazing wildlife and be chaperoned by experts in wildlife, history and the peoples of our planet. You will come back enriched.

River ships – lovely, slightly slower-paced way to see great cultural icons in Europe. Smaller and more intimate with good food and shore excursions. Now popular in exotic locations like Myanmar and Vietnam, Egypt, India and the Amazon. The mighty Mississippi paddle steamers of America are a wonderful experience.

Adventure ships – increasingly high-tech (think helicopters and submarines!) and usually carrying knowledgeable guides, these vessels will transport you to amazing wildlife and new cultures. Though some are now luxurious, many maintain it’s the destination and enrichment that count on these trips.

  1. How long a holiday do you want?

These days, cruise ships can carry you out to sea for a fun few days – or around the world for just short of a year (you can even live aboard – but that’s another story!). If you’re a first timer, we’d suggest a four-day local cruise – there’s plenty of choice, from Royal Caribbean and Carnival’s action-packed fun ships to Princess Cruises’ premium vessels packed with shore, food and entertainment options. If you’ve been around, fly cruise excursions from nearby Singapore or long-haul journeys around the gorgeous Mediterranean over 12 to 20 days may be your cup of tea.

  1. What type of holidays do you enjoy?

Relaxing by the pool in the sunshine? Bungy jumping in New Zealand? Castles and museums in Europe? Food, wine and spa? Adventure and wildlife? Meeting new people or being out in the wild? Form a picture of what you and your family or friends really like. Of course, you can find ships with all of the above – with ship-within-a-ship adult-only areas and fantastic, fun-filled places for kids.

Rule of thumb:

Contemporary ships are for families and fun-seekers, with few dress codes, and set dining times. Informal and relaxed.

Premium ships for couples and well-travelled adults – a little more formal, though very few are stiff and starchy with dress codes etc. Smart casual is about as formal as it gets.

Upper premium: this is slacks and jacket territory, but still relaxed and fun.

Luxury – May need the tuxedo on occasions (though top lines like Seabourn are much more Ralph Lauren these days…).

  1. How much do you want to spend?

Cruising offers enormous value for money. A river cruise in Europe can pass through four or five countries – your transport is free and your hotel comes with you, meaning you unpack only once. Imagine flying to four difference cities, booking into hotels, paying for restaurants and guides.

You can make enormous savings with daily rates (including eat-as-much-as-you-want meals, constant entertainment and travelling expenses) as low as $80 a day and as high as the sky, with butlers, champagne and all-inclusive shore excursions that are exclusive and totally immersive.

We think a premium cruise should cost around $250 a day. Remember, that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, entertainment and, often, some shore excursions.

See our stories on Cruise Passenger for more. Between January and March, or what is known as ‘Wave Season,’ the cruise industry releases its biggest deals and promos in advance of peak cruising season. Half of all cruises are booked during this three-month period.

  1. Which cruise line should you pick?

Armed with your answers to the questions above, you can pick your line (and then your ship). Here’s a quick guide to which line fits in which category (remember some have ships-within-ships which are premium or luxury):

Contemporary

Contemporary lines are considered more affordable as they offer heaps of value, have lots of great things to do on board and offer a wide choice of eating venues. They are resort ships which are very popular with families. Kids activities and “wow” attractions range from adrenalin-pumping waterslides, rock climbing and even dodgem cars. The bigger the ship, the bigger the show with large-scale Broadway hit shows. Contemporary lines include P&O, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.

Premium

Lines such as Princess, Celebrity and Dream are considered premium ships as their clients are usually well travelled and expect good quality food and beverages, entertainment and shore excursions. The ships have lots of fresh flower displays, dress code is smart casual and the ambience is contemporary congeniality. There are plenty of activities and entertainment and a wide choice of mainstream food. You usually have to pay for specialty dining. Most ships have walk-around open promenade decks and outdoor movie screens on the pool deck for screening of movies under the skies.

Upper Premium

Lines including Viking, Oceania, Celebrity and Cunard are handsome ships which cater for grown-up passengers who want to travel in comfort, dine well and experience immersive excursions. Viking, for instance, operates an open seating basis which means you can dine with whom you like and when you like. Speciality restaurants and wine at meals are included in the cruise price.

Celebrity’s unusual feature is an outdoor grass area (lawn club) which is open to all passengers where you can play croquet or have a picnic. It also hosts enrichment lectures and cooking demonstrations while the main show lounge stages custom-designed production shows.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth is pitched at the more traditional cruiser who likes to dress more formally for dinner and cruise with a sense of style. It has a two-level, wood panelled library and a three-deck Royal Court Theatre designed like a classic opera house.

Luxury

Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea and Seabourn are luxury lines, most suited to discerning couples who appreciate space, creature comforts and stylish surroundings. Butler service comes with suite cabins, offering all-inclusive prices for food and wine, entertainment and some excursions. Food is always well presented and well served. Silversea, however, charges extra for two specialty fine dining restaurants, the French La Dame by Relais & Chateaux and the Japanese Kaiseki. Seabourn also charges extra for dining at The Grill by Thomas Keller. Crystal has daily afternoon tea in the Palm Court and the Mozart teatime where the waiters are dressed in period costume is very popular among guests.

Expedition

See amazing wildlife and look out for the iconic polar bears, seals and whales in the Arctic. At the other end of the world, the Antarctica, you will cruise passing prisms of ice on ink-blue seas and spot bellowing seals and boisterous rookeries of penguins.

PONANT’S fleet of luxury expedition yachts explores the furthest reaches of our world from the Arctic, Antarctica to Australia’s outback in the Kimberley. The cruise line offers an open bar, French gastronomy and a private yacht ambiance. All expedition itineraries are accompanied by a team of naturalists who provide a deep knowledge and insight into the destinations visited. Silversea also cruises to the Galapagos, Arctic and Antarctica with a modern fleet of zodiacs and expedition leaders.

Late last year, the cruise line also revealed its first hybrid electric-LNG powered icebreaker, which will cater for just 270 guests, carry a fleet of Zodiac®, and offer very large panoramic suites, personalised service, gastronomic cuisine and a spa.

River

River cruising has always attracted guests who prefer to see the delightful sights of Europe and Asia at a comfortable pace where the ship cruises at night and reaches a new destination in the morning. APT in partnership with AmaWaterways has a wide selection of five-star itineraries on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Douro and Seine rivers for an enchanting experience of the food and culture of Europe’s iconic cities. In Asia, APT offers attractive sailings on the Mekong and Irrawaddy to explore Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. Scenic and Avalon Waterways are also seasoned river operators offering great destination experiences in both Europe and Asia.

Ships

Deciding on the right kind of cruise is all-important for a first-time cruiser. There’s so much to consider – budget, vessel size, who you’re traveling with and where you want to go. If you’re after a decadent experience, a luxury cruise ship will be decked out with butlers. On a premium line, you’ll get attentive service and fine food without the price tag. If you’re in a family group, contemporary cruise lines boast wonderful activities and rides, specially tailored for the kids. If you want cultural immersion, river cruises will take you into the heartland of your destinations; for the intrepid, adventure cruises offer itineraries to the polar regions and beyond.

Contemporary

Contemporary cruise lines are ramping up everything they offer passengers and the number of ships currently being built is a testament to the fact this is one of the most popular cruise categories.

This category of cruise is usually best for families and defines ships which have modern gadgets, the latest tech onboard as well as some of the coolest rides and attractions at sea.

Perfect for the first-time cruiser or a family, contemporary lines such as Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruise Australia, Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line are leading the pack in innovations and experiences for the entire family.

Royal Caribbean, known for the world’s largest ships, will be launching the new Quantum Ultra-class ship in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas. She’ll have new features onboard like a dedicated family suite which can sleep up to 11 people, as well as some cool rides and an exclusive area for VIP guests.

Last year, the world’s largest ship from Royal Caribbean, Symphony of the Seas, launched, offering cruisers of all ages a mind-blowing experience. Like sister-ship Harmony of the Seas, Symphony will feature the line’s “neighbourhood” concept with the Boardwalk, Central Park and other areas including the Bionic Bar, which is also on Ovation of the Seas. There is also Broadway-style entertainment, the AquaTheatre, the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea, and a mobile check-in service using facial recognition.

The ship’s new 1,346 square-foot family suite has two bedrooms, sleeps eight people and includes a 3D cinema room with a popcorn machine and a library of video games. There’s a whirlpool, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO climbing wall, an air hockey table and even a slide so the kids can slide from their bedroom to the living room.

In 2017, P&O Cruises launched Pacific Explorer, which has Scandinavian inspired dining areas with light-coloured pine tables and chairs, white-washed walls and plants and bars with plush velvet lounges and armchairs and modern artwork.

The ship has all the fun elements – a barefoot bowls green, a waterpark and a slide that hangs over the ship’s edge.

By day, sun bakers can grab lobster rolls and pulled pork burgers at the new Lobster Burger & Bar and in the evening, indulge in cocktails at the cabaret-style supper club.

For family fun, Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend are renowned for their great activities for kids, like the Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. Kids feast on gravity-defying pancakes and funky French toast while Dr Seuss characters wander around for meet and greets. Carnival Spirit has one of the world’s fastest water slides – the Green Thunder. Slide if you dare because it is the steepest waterslide at sea.

If you’re looking for a holiday further from home, Disney Cruise Lines has won multiple awards for its family-friendly ships. The ships are filled with Disney characters and the cruise is not just for kids. On Disney Magic, try the AquaDunk – you’ll climb to the ship’s highest point then plunge three storeys down a transparent slide. Disney Wonder stages Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, retelling Anna and Elsa’s Frozen adventure in a unique Broadway musical show. And while the kids are playing at the Marvel Super Hero Academy, mum can unwind at the Senses Spa & Salon while dad has a pint with the boys at the Crown & Fun British pub.

Disney sails in the Mediterranean, Bahamas, Mexico, Caribbean, Alaska, Canada and more international destinations.

THIS IS WHERE ADVENTURE BEGINS

Only Royal Caribbean® can blow the doors off ordinary and take cruising to new heights. Onboard you’ll find world-class entertainment, top-notch food and exhilarating activities for all – things that make the difference between a good holiday and an incredible one. With 26 ships visiting 6 continents, 64 countries and every major sea, we’ve got the globe covered.

Experience Ovation of the Seas® - a ship that has to be seen to be believed. It’s the biggest and most innovative ship in Australia and New Zealand and will redefine your holiday with a host of imaginative experiences as you island hop from Vanuatu to Auckland. Discover all the famous locations on your bucket list and some hidden gems you didn’t even know existed, all in one big, glorious adventure. And with so much included in your cruise fare, you just found the perfect holiday.

Book now or contact your local travel advisor.

Dining

Fuel up for your adventure with craveable cuisines you’ll love. Indulge in la dolce vita at Chef Jamie Oliver’s acclaimed eatery, Jamie’s Italian. Take an exotic, flavour-filled journey to Asia at Izumi Japanese Cuisine. Find your element among elaborate entrees at Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine. Or embark on a globetrotting gourmet adventure at Windjammer Marketplace. Set sail for delectable, with world-class complimentary dining plus classic and avant-garde specialty restaurants – all with satisfying selections for the foodie and the finicky.

Accommodation

Redefining the cruising experience one stateroom at a time. Our accommodation offers an alluring escape from the non-stop action our ships are known for. From our spectacular views and our deluxe amenities, a stay with us is like nothing at sea. From a couples retreat with spa-like comfort to connecting staterooms to accommodate for extended families, we’ve thought of the details so you don’t have to. Our award-winning and awe-inspiring accommodation options are designed to match your comfort needs.

Entertainment

You’ve got front row seats to the greatest shows at sea. We set the industry standard with dazzling, full-scale productions, every night on every cruise – best of all, it’s all included in your cruise fare. We offer awe-inspiring Broadway-style shows, as well as ice-skating, dive shows, original productions with a live orchestra, intricate costuming and incredible talent from across the globe. Enjoy 270-degree ocean panoramas to evening aerial shows at Two70® transformative venue or watch dazzling ice spectaculars with professional skaters who amaze with jumps, lifts and spins. This is at-sea entertainment like you’ve never seen before.

Activities

Sometimes you wake up ready for excitement. Other times you keep it laid back. Either way, each day onboard is the chance to step outside your boundaries and just go for it – whatever ‘it’ is. Whatever adventures you seek, you’ll find all sorts of ways to fill your days onboard Royal Caribbean. Each day and night brings something new to do, see and explore. From robot mixologists at Bionic Bar® and the FlowRider® surf simulator to climbing 90 meters into the air on the North Star®. Or let your imagination take flight with the first ever skydiving simulator at sea. And with the award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Programme, kids and teens will have a blast – plus parents get a little time of their own in the adults-only solarium and Vitality℠ at Sea Spa. The hardest part is deciding where to start.

Facts

Ovation of the Seas®

  • Capacity: 4,180 (double occupancy)
  • Crew capacity: 1,500
  • Entered service: April 2016
  • Tonnage: 168,666 tons
  • Cabins: 2,091 staterooms
  • Ship Highlights: RipCord® by iFLY®, North Star®, Bionic Bar®, FlowRider®, Two70® transformative venue, SeaPlex®, Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre

Radiance of the Seas®

  • Capacity: 2,143 (double occupancy)
  • Crew capacity: 894
  • Entered service: April 2001 (Refurbished in May 2016)
  • Tonnage: 90,090 tons
  • Cabins: 1,071 staterooms
  • Ship Highlights: Rock climbing wall, mini golf, Broadway-style shows, Chops Grille℠, Giovanni’s Table, outdoor movie screen, sea-facing glass elevators, Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre

Explorer of the Seas®

  • Capacity: 3,286 (double occupancy)
  • Crew capacity: 1,185
  • Entered service: October 2000 (Refurbished in May 2015)
  • Tonnage: 137,308 tons
  • Cabins: 1,643 staterooms
  • Ship Highlights: Ice-skating shows, poolside movies, 3D movies, FlowRider®, ice-rink, mini golf rock wall, Giovanni’s Italian, Johnny Rockets®, Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre

Whether you are enjoying a short break or embarking on a grand voyage, a holiday with Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers countless unforgettable experiences with all the comforts of home, and more.

Treat yourself to a night at your favourite local restaurant, at every meal. Spend the evening with lifelong-friends, that you have just met. Dance the night away to classic hits, by your new number-one band. Set off on an invigorating day out, and be welcomed back by your extended family. Feel right at home in your sumptuous bed, 1,000 miles from your house. And, get lost in the latest bestseller, before discovering a whole new world.

Delight in the camaraderie that comes with exploring Australia and the world with
like-minded, distinguished travellers aboard our five classically-styled, small to mid-sized ships. There are no waterslides, rock-climbing walls or ziplines, just attentive, friendly service, a relaxed, country-club ambiance and exceptional value for money.

As we welcome Vasco da Gama to the fleet and prepare to celebrate our 10th anniversary, there has never been a better time to be introduced to Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ traditional boutique cruise experience.

Rediscover the golden era of cruising.

Discover Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Dining

Savour the best meals and libations while in some of the remotest parts of the world. With a choice of sumptuous bars and lounges, you can mingle with newfound friends over cocktails in the Blue Room, dance the night away to old favourites in the Dome, and enjoy everything in between.

At mealtimes, embark on a tantalising adventure in a range of dining venues. From the Waterfront’s modern classics; Waterfront Mediterranean’s traditional Italian favourites; Waterfront Eurasia’s fresh, vibrant flavours; and the Grill’s succulent steaks to an unforgettable fine dining experience at the Chef’s Table. Or for something a little more casual, create your own culinary experience at The Bistro with up to nine styles of cuisine to choose from.

CMV offer speciality dining options aboard all our ships as well, for very modest supplementary charges

Accommodation

Whether travelling alone or with one or more companions, a modern oasis awaits you at the end of every day. With expansive built-in-robes, modern ensuites and flat screen TVs in each room, you can sink into your sumptuous bed after a long day exploring ashore and unwind knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips. And, with queen or twin bedding configurations, comfortable triple and quad share options, interconnecting rooms as well as limited mobility and wheelchair accessible cabins available upon request, there is a stateroom or suite for everyone.

For those sailing solo, guests can enjoy exceptional discounts on dedicated single cabins on each ship as well as special programming and events onboard.

From the spacious inner, ocean view and balcony cabins to the luxurious suites, the accommodation on each of our ships offers the choice, flexibility and comfort that you deserve.

CMV offer 150 twin cabins at a dedicated solo traveller rate on each cruise aboard Columbus and Magellan, while we will offer 40 twin cabins at a dedicated solo traveller rate on Vasco da Gama.

Entertainment

Savour some of the best spectacles in the world, from ever-changing vistas on the expansive promenade to enthralling cabaret-style performances and dazzling entertainment in our two-tiered theatres and intimate show lounges. Learn something new, whether you are delving into the history and culture of each destination in our onboard enrichment programme or learning to scrapbook and stitch in an exciting crafting class.

Take in the latest blockbuster or a silver screen classic in the Auditorium or simply while the day away amidst the panoramic views of the observation lounges as you are taken care of by our friendly, meticulous crew. Or, indulge your competitive side with everything from trivia to tennis and Texas Hold’em.

Highlights

Spend your days onboard spoiled for choice. Unwind poolside with your favourite drink in-hand on the expansive Lido Deck, soak in the sun in the two glistening pools and relax in the state of the art Jade Wellness Centre and Spa. Spend your time rejuvenating the body and mind in the well-equipped fitness centre or challenge a newfound friend to a friendly game of table tennis on the sports deck. Pamper yourself in the salon, delve into a bestseller from the onboard library or try your hand at bridge or a boardgame in the comfortable games room.

Facts

Ship Columbus Vasco da Gama Astor
Guests 1400 1200 550
Number of Crew Onboard 620 600 270
Year Ship Entered Service 1989 1993 1987
Year Ship Was Last Refurbished 2017 2015 2010
Tonnage 64,000 56,000 20,500
Cabins 775 630 689
Dining Options 6 venues:
The Waterfront Restaurant
Fusion
The Alfresco Grill
The Grill
The Chef's Table
Plantation Bistro
6 venues:
The Waterfront Restaurant
Waterfront Mediterannean
Waterfront Eurasia
The Grill
The Chef's Table
The Bistro
4 venues:
The Waldorf
The Ubersee Club
The Commodore's Salon
The Admiral's Salon
Entertainment Palladium Show Lounge
7x Bars and Lounges
2x Cafés
Ship's Library
Trumps & Aces Card Room
Crafters' Studio
Outdoor Cinema
2x Swimming Pools & 2x Whirlpool Spas
Casino Lounge
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Beauty Salon
Shopping Galleria
Hollywood's Show Lounge
6x Bars and Lounges
Café
Ship's Library
The Auditorium Theatre
Casino Lounge
2x Swimming Pools & 2x Whirlpool Spas
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Beauty Salon
Sports Courts
Shopping Galleria
Astor Show Lounge
2 Bars and Lounges
2x Swimming Pools
Card Room
Ship's Library
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Beauty Salon
Sports Courts
Shopping Galleria
Ship Magellan Marco Polo Astoria
Guests 1250 800 550
Number of Crew Onboard 520 350 270
Year Ship Entered Service 1985 1964
Rebuilt in 1993
1948
Rebuilt in 1994
Year Ship Was Last Refurbished 2010 2010 2013
Tonnage 46,000 22,000 16,000
Cabins 726 425 277
Dining Options 4 venues:
The Waldorf
The Kensington
Raffles Bistro
Fusion
3 venues:
The Waldorf
Marco's Bistro
Fusion
2 venues:
Olissipo Restaurant
The Lotus Buffet
Entertainment Magellan Show Lounge
7x Bars and Lounges
2x Swimming Pools & 3x Whirlpool Spas
Casino Lounge
Café
Ship's Library
Card Room
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Sports Courts
Shopping Galleria
Marco Polo Show Lounge
3x Bars and Lounges
Swimming Pool & 3x Whirlpool Spas
Ship's Library
Card Room
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Beauty Salon
Shopping Galleria
Calypso Show Lounge
6x Bars and Lounges
Cinema and Auditorium
Swimming Pool
Ship's Library
Card Room
Jade Wellness Centre
Fitness Centre
Beauty Salon
Shopping Galleria

For cruisers looking for a more refined experience, without the massive price tag of a luxury line, the premium category is ideal.

They offer more than contemporary cruise ships and tend to attract more mature cruisers. Think of lines such as Princess Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line. These lines exemplify the difference between premium and contemporary, namely service. With higher staff-to-guest ratios, this is where premium lines excel.

Premium lines tend to steer away from having rides and large amusement areas, but there are some exceptions. For example, some Norwegian Cruise Line ships have two-storey racing tracks and laser tag courses.

The premium offerings are better than ever for Australians and Kiwis.

The stunning Majestic Princess, the largest ship from Princess Cruises is homeported in Australia. On board, foodies will be able to feast at two new specialty restaurants. The first, Harmony, was created in partnership with Chef Richard Chen who was part of the first Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in the US. Chef Chen has created a menu of haute Chinese cuisine, serving his interpretation of classic Cantonese dishes.

Majestic Princess will also have the new Le Bistrot in the atrium, offering casual French home-style dining with a modern twist. Guests will be able to feast on escargot casseroles, braised ox tongue and mushroom ragout along with baguettes, tarts and pastries.

More than 80 per cent of Majestic Princess staterooms include private balconies and all cabins feature the new Princess Luxury bed which is designed by sleep expert Dr Michael Breus. The new ship also has the SeaWalk, the first ever glass-floor walkway at sea. For shopaholics, the atrium has the nearly 1,100 square metres of luxury boutiques including designer shops from Cartier, Bulgari and Chopard. Guests can also purchase leather goods from Burberry and Gucci along with watches from Montblanc, Longines, Rado and Tissot.

By night, the Eden becomes a playground of performance art and nightlife. Guests can dine at the Eden Restaurant which promises to combine taste, sight and sound.

Azamara Club Cruises, the sister brand to Celebrity Cruises, is known for its small and intimate ships which boast immersive shore experiences. Thanks to their size, the ships are able to access ports with shallower waters and are also able to spend evenings in destinations.

Azamara also offers more excursions after dark, including a bespoke “AzAmazing Evening”. This could be anything from meeting 200 saltwater crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove in Queensland to a Maori cultural concert at Wellington’s TePapa Museum to a night out at the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising. Most notably, Norwegian revolutionised the cruise industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal cruise holiday on their schedule with no set dining times, a variety of entertainment options and no formal dress codes. Today, Norwegian invites guests to enjoy a relaxed, resort-style cruise holiday on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea with a wide variety of accommodation options. Norwegian Cruise Line sails around the globe, offering guests the freedom and flexibility to explore the world on their own time and experience up to 27 dining options, award-winning entertainment, superior guest service and more across all of the brand’s 17 ships.

It’s easy to get lost in the routine of daily living and forget about the things that matter, which is why it is so important to step away from the unnecessary noise and stress to enjoy a holiday. And there is no better way to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones then on a Princess® cruise. Embark on an adventure to some of the planet’s most fascinating destinations with the four-time winner of Best Overall Cruise Line in Cruise Passenger Reader’s Choice Award 2015-2018.

Out at sea, you’re free to relax, unwind and feel the joy of the journey. More than just a holiday, embark on an adventure of thrilling discoveries – unexpected moments that reawaken your senses of elation and wonder, exotic tastes and cultures, and shared times with family and new friends you’ve made onboard that you’ll never forget. Our ‘Come Back New Promise’ offers guests new and enriching experiences – like our partnership with award-winning Australian chef and restaurateur, Curtis Stone who brings guests fresh, new culinary creations; the new Princess Luxury Bed, designed for the ultimate night of sleep at sea; creations from master chocolatier Norman Love; our Discovery at SeaTM experiences and award-winning excursions; new original theatrical productions from Broadway legend, Stephen Schwartz and more. Open your horizons to more than 380 destinations and enjoy more time ashore to tap into the colourful cultures, local cuisine and natural beauty in each port of call, creating unique connections that only come when you explore the world with the destination leader. Enjoy our modern and premium ships with two new additions to the Princess fleet in 2019 and 2020 with Sky Princess® and Enchanted Princess®.

You’ll come back renewed, refreshed with wonderful memories, and life won’t seem quite so routine anymore.

Onboard Experience

To Princess ® fresh is a flavour. From tender steaks hand cut daily to bread baked around the clock, Princess believes in bringing you the best taste from the freshest resources. With the incredible variety of specialty dining, Princess® makes each meal a new adventure. Enjoy a wide culinary spectrum from hand-tossed pizza to dazzling multi-course gourmet dinners, you’ll find enticing food and dining options throughout the day, as lovingly prepared as a home cooked meal. Take your pick from the numerous specialties such as classic steakhouse fare, homemade Italian or French Bistro, La Mer, by decorated chef Emmanuel Renault. Spend a night enjoying mouth-watering Chinese cuisine or dine on sashimi and classic sushi favourites. Indulge in a six-course extravaganza at SHARE by Curtis Stone and discover why Princess® was elected the Best Cruise Line for Food for Cruise Passenger Reader’s Choice Award 2018

Accommodation

At Princess Cruises®, we’re committed to ensuring our guests come back from their vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. Every vessel in our fleet is designed to give you plenty of room to yourself, with spacious decks, comfortably elegant public spaces and inviting balcony staterooms. Across our fleet, we have worked with board certified sleep expert Dr Michael Breus and HGTV Designer Candice Olsen to create the Princess Luxury Bed TM for the ultimate sleep at sea. From the luxurious new Sky suites, soon available exclusively on Sky Princess SM to our cosy interior stateroom, Princess® offers a wide range of accommodations for every taste and budget.

Entertainment

Lights. Camera. Action! Entertainment takes center stage on Princess®. Whether you are part of a standing ovation in the crowd or stepping into the limelight yourself, enjoy the Best Cruise Line for Entertainment by the Cruise Passenger Reader’s Choice Award 2016-2018. In an unprecedented partnership, Oscar®, Grammy® and Tony® Award winning composer Stephen Schwartz brings his talent to the sea with three exclusive shows: Magic To Do, Born to Dance and The Secret Silk. Our bolder guests can try their hand at The Voice of the Ocean, complete with coaches, the famous red chairs and a grand finale performance. Alternatively, our award-winning partnership with Discovery Communications has a range of activities for the whole family, including new Youth & Teen Centres, and the Movie under the Stars® program lets you enjoy feature films and sensational concert and sporting events on the poolside.

Highlights

With Princess® take advantage of every minute of your holidays to rejuvenate and come back relaxed, revived and replenished. Be pampered over a soothing massage or enjoy laid-back luxury in tranquil spaces like the award-winning Lotus Spa®. Spoil yourself with a variety of wonderful treatments from aroma stone therapy massage to any personalised pampering. Or visit The Enclave® the largest Japanese spa at sea with a stunning thermal spa. Unwind at The Sanctuary®, a lovely on-deck oasis reserved for adults away from the bustle of the ship. Take an enriching class in cooking, photography, Pilates and more or shop our various Duty-Free Boutiques or log on to the Web with your wireless laptop. This year more than ever enjoy seamless holidays with the Ocean Medallion aboard Regal Princess®, coming this year in Australia for the first time, bringing personalised moments to you.

Witness the world in a different light. Delve deep into the core of local life and engage the world up close. Discover unknown art, untold history, unheard music, and yet to be tasted cuisine. Explore the world within the world, while discovering more about yourself. With overnight stays and docking at smaller, less-travelled ports, Azamara Club Cruises invites you to step ashore as an insider and Explore Further℠.

Discover a fleet made for explorers. With ships large enough to traverse the Atlantic yet small enough to reach out of the way locations and less travelled ports like the doorstep of Bangkok or the heart of Seville. Get to know the heart of a destination with locally-led shore excursions that will take you to bucket-list worthy attractions, as well as lesser known hidden gems.

Choose from three recently revitalised ships that are perfectly sized, comfortably accommodating approximately 700 guests. Azamara’s boutique style ships can transport you off the beaten path to the globe’s most thrilling corners. With club like amenities, a host of luxury inclusions and stunning staterooms, Azamara’s ships themselves become part of the destination.

With more late departures (8pm or later) and overnight stays than other cruise lines, you’ll have more time to explore onshore and see destinations come to life after dark. Capture the essence of your adventurous spirit with curated country-intensive voyages that let you visit most, if not all, ports of call within a country.

Your incredible experiences on shore are matched only by the service you’ll receive onboard. From remembering your coffee order at Mosaic Café to turning down your bed just the way you like it, we believe it’s the little things that say ‘welcome home’ every time you step onboard. Azamara’s immersive destination experiences are the reason guests choose to travel with us, but it’s the authentic service that keeps them returning.

Dining

Join us on a culinary journey as we bring the flavours of the world to your plate and dine in at Azamara's specialty restaurants and dining venues. Fresh ingredients, careful preparation and a variety of menu choices, Azamara offers a choice of six distinctive dining options, including room service. Whether you’re a fan of haute cuisine or hearty cooking, expect the same delicious quality. Guests can also dine at the ‘Chef’s Table’ a five-course menu paired with sumptuous wines, these fine dining experiences are hosted by a senior officer or special guest. From lobster flambé at the famous White Night Party to crème brûlée in your Stateroom, savour a heavenly experience at every meal.

Accommodation

Embark on a journey with ocean views, sea breezes, and all the style and amenities of a boutique hotel on an Azamara voyage. Choose from a cosy Club Interior. Be the first to see a destination with a Club Oceanview. Feel the sea breezes with a Club Verandah. Or, indulge in space, dedicated service and additional amenities with a Suite. All-inclusive, enjoy plush cotton robes and slippers, French bath products, fresh flowers, and 24-hour room service . It’s the small things that transform your stay from ‘good’ to ‘great’ – like turning down your bed just the way you like it to a fruit basket on embarkation. Azamara's recently refurbished, boutique hotel style accommodations are your home away from home so you can comfortably unwind after a day exploring a new destination.

Entertainment

Azamara has set the stage for all-new entertainment experiences onboard. Discover the best of broadway in the Cabaret Lounge, complete with signature cocktails. A variety of shows from comedy shorts to outstanding opera in the intimate theatre. Plus, discover live music all around the ship like Abba themed nights to sultry guitar trios poolside. Also included in your cruise fare is Azamara’s signature events. White Night Parties, where the top decks are transformed into a gorgeous outdoor restaurant, be served lobster flambé pool-side as you dance the night away at sea. Azamazing Evenings where immersive experiences have been crafted to bring you the genuine spirit and arts of your destination, like cabaret under the stars in Cherbourg to traditional dance along the Saigon River in Vietnam.

Highlights

Return from your holiday feeling rejuvenated with Azamara's health, beauty, and restorative treatments at Azamara’s Sanctum Spa. With a focus on wellness and vigour, the relaxing spa offers you the chance to focus on you – something you don’t always have time to do at home. Enjoy an oceanfront massage, a quick manicure or even a healing acupuncture treatment. But beyond the Sanctum Spa, Azamara is also pleased to offer a full range of complimentary onboard fitness and nutrition classes, including one-on-one personal training. An Azamara voyage is the perfect opportunity to focus on your health – so let us treat you to some rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Facts

Azamara Journey ®

Guest Capacity: 690
Crew members: 408
Entered Service: 2000 (refurbished 2016)
Gross Tonnage: 30, 277
Cabins: 345
Dining options: Discoveries Restaurant (a la carte dining), Aqualina (Italian), Prime C (prime meats and seafood), The Patio (pool side grill), Windows Café (buffet-style), Mosaic Café
Entertainment: Azamazing evening, White Night Party, Evening entertainment, The Living Room (Library), spa and fitness, duty-free shopping
Special features: The Journey Shop (ship exclusive merchandise), The Photo Shop, Casino, The Sanctum Terrace (sleep under the stars experience), The Card Room

Azamara Quest®

Guest Capacity: 690
Crew members: 408
Entered Service: 2000 (refurbished 2016)
Gross Tonnage: 30, 277
Cabins: 345
Dining options: Discoveries Restaurant (a la carte dining), Aqualina (Italian), Prime C (prime meats and seafood), The Patio (pool side grill), Windows Café (buffet-style), Mosaic Café
Entertainment: Azamazing evening, White Night Party, Evening entertainment, The Living Room (Library), spa and fitness, duty-free shopping
Special features: The Quest Shop (ship exclusive merchandise), The Photo Shop, Casino, The Sanctum Terrace (sleep under the stars experience), The Card Room

Azamara Pursuit®

Guest Capacity: 702
Crew members: 408
Entered Service: 2018
Gross Tonnage: 30, 277
Cabins: 204
Dining options: Discoveries Restaurant (a la carte dining), Aqualina (Italian), Prime C (prime meats and seafood), The Patio (pool side grill), Windows Café (buffet-style), Mosaic Café
Entertainment: Azamazing evening, White Night Party, Evening entertainment, The Living Room (Library), spa and fitness, duty-free shopping
Special features: The Den (destination planning lounge), The Pursuit Shop (ship exclusive merchandise), The Photo Shop, The Sanctum Terrace (sleep under the stars experience), The Card Room

Visit AzamaraClubCruises.com.au
Call 1800 754 500

Contact your CLIA Travel professional

When you cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, you’re free. Free to dine, dance, laugh, explore and relax – free to follow the sun instead of a schedule. Our award-winning ships are designed for you to enjoy as you choose while cruising to beautiful destinations around the world. Take to the sea and find out what it means to Feel Free.

Feel free to cruise the world with 16 ships sailing to 200 destinations across the globe. Cruise through history and marvel at the architectural masterpieces and stunning vistas in the Mediterranean and along the shores of the Baltic Sea. Find your slice of paradise while sailing through Hawaii and witness awe-inspiring scenery and unique wildlife in Alaska. Unravel the mysteries of Asia or experience Australia and New Zealand’s natural wonders right from your doorstep. With Norwegian, the world is yours to discover.

Along your journey, you’ll discover incredible culinary experiences with the freedom to dine when and where you want. Light up your nights with the best entertainment at sea with Broadway shows. Savour handcrafted cocktails at your favourite bar or lounge. Take to the sea and find out what it means to Feel Free with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Dining

Nobody does dining like Norwegian. All of our ships offer delicious three-course meals in up to three Main Dining Rooms. You’ll also find Asian-fusion restaurants, impressive buffets featuring carving and pasta stations, a variety of casual cafes, outdoor grills and delicious pub classics at The Local and O’Sheehan’s Neighbourhood Bar & Grill. All of this is offered as part of our complimentary dining.

Or Feel Free to reserve a seat at a speciality restaurant and make it a special night*. Experience fine seafood-inspired cuisine at Bayamo or Ocean Blue. Savour superb French fare at Le Bistro or premium black Angus beef at Cagney’s Steakhouse. Devour a Cheeseburger in Paradise at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea. Enjoy the sizzles and surprises at Teppanyaki or bring your family for an Italian meal at La Cucina. They’re all on board – and they’re all delicious.

Accommodation

Our award-winning fleet offers a wide range of contemporary and comfortable accommodation designed for you, your family or even your group.

Hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven by Norwegian®, an exclusive sanctuary with our most exclusive, well-appointed and spacious accommodation. Not only will you have access to all the ship has to offer, you'll enjoy the personal service of a concierge and 24-hour butler throughout your entire stay.

We also offer spacious and modern Suites, Penthouses, Mini-Suite and Balcony Staterooms perfect for couples or the whole family. If you’re keen to get into the action, our wide range of comfortable and well designed Oceanview and Inside Staterooms will suit you perfectly. And if you’re travelling solo, our award-winning Studios are designed and priced for solo travellers with exclusive access to the Studio Lounge.

Entertainment

Norwegian sets the standard for the best entertainment at sea. Journey from the gritty streets of New Jersey to glamour and international fame with the Tony Award®-winning musical Jersey Boys. Or enjoy award-winning Broadway entertainment like Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Put on your blue suede shoes and sing your favourite golden oldies with Tony Award®-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet. You won’t want to miss a moment of the best of Broadway at sea.

For those who prefer live music head to Syd Norman’s Pour House for rock ‘n’ roll, or settle in at a piano bar, pool deck or atrium and relax with live music playing throughout our ships. Want dinner and a show? Join us under our colourful big top, Spiegel Tent, for Cirque Dreams Epicurean or sit back for sizzling ballroom performances of Burn the Floor in one of our Main Dining Rooms.

Highlights

When you want some "me" time, look no further than Mandara Spa®. Relax with a hot-stone massage, one of over 50 specialty treatments offered. Let our pampering professionals soothe and rejuvenate you with facials, massages, acupuncture and a full menu of services.

Travelling with kids? Experience an unforgettable family holiday with Norwegian Cruise Line. From dodgeball to Circus School, there are lots of activities for every age group with our complimentary youth programmes – available on every ship.

Get your heart racing on the largest race track at sea on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy. Catch some sun and a sea breeze as you whoosh down towering waterslides. Or conquer the largest ropes course at sea on our Breakaway and Breakaway Plus class ships.
There’s something exhilarating (or relaxing) for everyone around every corner of our ships.

Facts

Ships:

  • Norwegian Bliss
  • Norwegian Breakaway
  • Norwegian Dawn
  • Norwegian Encore
  • Norwegian Epic
  • Norwegian Escape
  • Norwegian Gem
  • Norwegian Getaway
  • Norwegian Jade
  • Norwegian Jewel
  • Norwegian Joy
  • Norwegian Pearl
  • Norwegian Sky
  • Norwegian Spirit
  • Norwegian Star
  • Norwegian Sun
  • Pride of America

Passengers: 1,936 – 4,266
Crew: 906 - 1,733
Dining: Up to 27 complimentary and specialty dining options across the fleet
Bars and Lounges: Up to 22 bars and lounges across the fleet
Destinations: Norwegian cruises to over 400 destinations worldwide

Call 1300 255 200,
Visit
ncl.com.au
Contact your CLIA Travel Agent

This emerging category is attracting cruise passengers looking for a bit of luxury, but without breaking the bank.

There has been an emergence of cruise lines entering this part of the market – they offer fantastic service, well-appointed accommodation, usually with luxury toiletries, fine dining options on larger vessels.

Oceania Cruises, which is known for their gastronomic fare, is one of the leading upper premium lines.

The line which has repeatedly won Cruise Passenger’s Best in Food awards for two years, has the master of French cuisine, Jacques Pepin at the helm of its food services.

Chef Pepin has been the Culinary Director since Oceania’s inception in 2015, and not only overlooks the menu fleet-wide, but also hosts specialty cooking classes onboard as well as dedicated food themed cruises.

So what sets luxury cruising apart from the rest? Personalised service is paramount with butlers on hand to unpack your bags or book your table at restaurants. Top notch service also means a high crew-to-passenger ratio so that staff are able to pander to guests’ every whim and fancy.

Meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises has just launched the technologically advanced Celebrity Edge, one of the most anticipated ships of all time. The ship, which looks more like something out of a science-fiction movie, has a striking new feature – the Magic Carpet, a tennis-court-sized platform that moves up and down the ship.

Also onboard is the Eden, a lush area filled with cool lounge spaces, a dining area as well as a bar. It even has a section called the Library of Plants with five-metre tall trees inside. The space, which will be an architectural marvel, has more outward-facing glass than any other room at sea. In the morning, guests can chill out before the day’s activities with yoga, a good book or have a casual breakfast of fresh coffee and croissants.

Featuring a fleet of intimately luxurious ships, Oceania Cruises offers an unrivalled experience renowned for The Finest Cuisine at Sea™ and destination-rich itineraries spanning the globe.

Seasoned travellers are drawn to Oceania Cruises’ expertly crafted voyages, which call on more than 450 ports across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska and the South Pacific. Spacious and elegant accommodation aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena and the 1,250-guest Marina and Riviera invite guests to explore the world in unparalleled comfort and style.

From the moment you step aboard one of our stylish ships, you’ll feel welcomed by the dedicated staff and casually sophisticated atmosphere, perfectly complimented by museum quality art and thoughtful design choices. As you explore iconic destinations around the world, you will discover that there is no need to rush, or worry about crowds or waiting in long lines. Striking up conversation among those that find travel just as meaningful becomes effortless. With a wealth of amenities that might only be expected on larger ships along with luxuries exclusive to Oceania’s intimate ships, our onboard experience invites you to spend your days exactly as you wish.



The OLife Difference

  • The Finest Cuisine at Sea™
  • Six distinctive open-seating restaurants, all at no additional charge
  • Gourmet cuisine created by world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pépin
  • Epicurean enrichment programmes, including immersive Culinary Discovery Tours™
  • Award-winning itineraries featuring more than 450 alluring destinations
  • Spectacular port-intensive voyages featuring overnight visits and extended evening port stays
  • Intimate, luxurious ships catering to just 684 or 1,250 guests
  • Exceptional personalised service
  • Elegant, casual ambience, no jacket or tie required
  • Acclaimed Canyon Ranch® Spa

Dining

With five-star menus curated by Oceania Cruises’ Executive Culinary Director and renowned Master Chef Jacques Pépin, Oceania Cruises’ cuisine rivals Michelin-starred restaurants ashore. Experience The Finest Cuisine at Sea™ as you dine at a variety of gourmet restaurants onboard, all at no additional charge, whilst open-seating allows you to dine where, when, and with whom you choose. All meals are prepared à la minute using fresh, artisanal ingredients. In addition to offering the most expansive dining room menus afloat, Oceania Cruises’ also provides the most extensive offering of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus of any cruise line. Onboard Marina and Riviera, you can also spend a delightful day preparing the recipes yourself in our Culinary Centre, the first dedicated hands-on cooking school at sea. From Continental cuisine to authentic Italian to classic steakhouse fare, Oceania Cruises invites you to savour the extraordinary culinary experience onboard.

Accommodation

  • Luxurious rooms ranging in size from 15 to nearly 186 square metres
  • 85 percent of the staterooms feature private teak verandas
  • All staterooms feature LCD TVs, robes and slippers, luxurious Prestige Tranquility Beds with 700-thread-count Egyptian cotton linen, goose-down pillows and silk-cut Italian duvets.
  • Spacious accommodation designed as sumptuous private retreats with traditional hardwoods, rich fabrics and fine furnishings
  • Private teak verandas featured in all suites and the vast majority of staterooms
  • Signature Belgian chocolates with nightly turndown service
  • 24-hour Butler Service in Owner’s, Vista, Oceania and Penthouse Suites
  • Complimentary room service available 24 hours a day
  • Twice-daily maid service and luxurious Bulgari amenities

Entertainment

  • Experience unforgettable evenings at exclusive production shows and musical performances featuring critically-acclaimed headline entertainers
  • Delight in our eight-piece orchestra and classical string quartet
  • Enjoy jazz nights and live piano music at Martini’s bar
  • Learn to prepare a variety of exquisite dishes at your own fully-equipped workstation at our onboard culinary school – The Culinary Centre
  • Create your own masterpiece at our Artist Loft enrichment centre where talented artists-in-residence offer step-by-step instruction as you paint, sketch, create collages and more
  • Savour a wine tasting at La Reserve

Highlights

  • 5-star menus at open-seating gourmet dining venues
  • The Culinary Centre – Onboard cooking school
  • Canyon Ranch® Spa Club
  • Pool
  • Monte Carlo-style Casino
  • English-style library with more than 2,000 books and periodicals
  • 24-hour Butler Service in all suites
  • Entertainment Centre
  • Artist Loft enrichment centre
  • State of the art fitness centre
  • 24-hour Oceania@Sea Internet Centre
  • La Reserve wine tasting seminars and vintage tastings
  • Driving range and up to 18-hole golf putting greens
  • Onboard boutiques

Facts

Vessels:

Insignia
Marina
Nautica
Regatta
Riviera
Sirena


Ships:
6
Passengers:
684–1,250
Total crew: 400-800
Year it entered service: Between 1998 and 2012
Tonnage: 30,277– 66,084
Cabins: 342-645
Dining options: Up to twelve gourmet dining venues to choose from across the fleet
Star rating: 5

Call 1300 355 200, visit www.oceaniacruises.com/concierge/ or see your CLIA Travel Agent

There’s a distinct difference when you travel the world with Celebrity. You’ll notice it on every cruise, on every ship, every time. The proof is in the details that create the foundation for your modern luxury experience.

Luxurious and upscale on every level, we brought together teams of world-class architects, interior designers, stylists, and even landscape artists to create a showcase of the most inspiring spaces at sea, custom designed just for you. Revel in stylish design. Sink into exquisite bedding. Bask in the breathtaking views. Our array of luxurious accommodations has been artfully created to make your stay warm and welcoming. And with nearly one crew member for every two guests, our intuitive service is about the little touches that make a difference. The chocolate on your pillow each night? That's just the icing on the cake.

Our menus, crafted by Michelin-starred chef, Cornelius Gallagher, are inspired by, and locally sourced from, the amazing regions we visit. Choose casual or upscale, sushi or Italian, dining room or alfresco under the stars. With up to a dozen speciality restaurants, and an array of bars, lounges, and clubs, every experience takes you on a journey.

In December 2018, Celebrity Cruises introduced Celebrity Edge® – a ship designed to shatter all expectations. Completely breaking away from tradition, Celebrity Edge has a unique outward-facing design where innovative outdoor and indoor spaces connect you more closely to the sea. Like the incredible Magic Carpet - a truly unique venue that changes mood, function, and even its location as the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform reaching heights of 13 storeys above the ocean.

Over 300 extraordinary destinations. Culinary excellence. Intuitive service. Luxurious accommodations and stunning design. That’s what makes your holiday distinctly, extraordinarily, Celebrity.

Visit Celebritycruises.com.au
Call 1800 754 500
Contact your CLIA Travel Agent

Dining

Travel the world and discover a universe of flavours and textures from menus crafted by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher. Chart your course through stylish venues ranging from casual to formal, or inside to al fresco. The icing on top is that many are already included in your cruise fare. Offering melt-in-the-mouth gourmet cuisine and an award-winning wine cellar, you have a choice of up to a dozen speciality restaurants as diverse as the amazing places we sail to. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients where possible, each masterfully prepared dish aims to surprise and delight the senses. Take a cross-continental culinary journey capturing the best of Asia, France, Italy the Mediterranean and beyond. From fresh sushi paired with fine Japanese sakes to an innovative lawn-side grill experience, every day brings the promise of something new.

Accommodation

The perfect holiday should follow you right into your personal retreat. Somewhere that’s at once warm and welcoming, with top-quality soft furnishings and bedding, pampering round-the-clock service and an unmatched attention to detail. A place where your nightly journey to dreamland is assured. One size doesn’t fit all, so we offer a wide array of rejuvenating and stylish accommodation choices. From our spacious staterooms through spa-oriented AquaClass® or the added conveniences of Concierge Class, all the way up to the almost endless perks of Suite Class, you’ll find one that’s made to measure. And as 90% of our rooms provide outside views, 85% with balconies, too – you’ll never tire of the unfolding vistas that lie in wait each day you’re with us.

Entertainment

Our entertainment happens all around you and all around the clock. From mixology magic and live pop-up music performances to theatre shows that will leave you breathless, life at sea has never been so exciting. The best part of a Celebrity cruise holiday is that you can do as much or as little as you like. Spend the day relaxing poolside in the adults-only Solarium, head to the spa for a relaxing treatment, take in a performance on the Lawn Club, work up a sweat at a fitness class or test your knowledge at trivia. In the evening, enjoy an incredible new show every night in the theatre, from aerial acrobatics to exclusive theatre productions you won’t find on any other cruise line. Head to our ice-topped Martini Bar and watch our barmen balance a tower of over 30 martinis at once. The choices are endless – and they’re all yours.

Highlights

From the moment you step onboard a Celebrity cruise, you’ll notice the tranquil atmosphere, the endless places to unwind and a feeling of openness thanks to the modern design of our ships. Spoil yourself with tailored face and body treatments, massages for singles and couples, acupuncture and a full service salon at the Canyon Ranch® spa. Head to Celebrity’s renowned Persian Garden, relax on heated ceramic lounge seats whilst calming aromatherapy mists sooth the soul. Bask in the serene setting of the adults-only Solarium, take a dip in the pool or simply relax on our cushioned sun beds. Stay energised at our Fitness Centre, featuring all the latest cardio machines and a dedicated weights area.

Reserve your exclusive and secluded slice of paradise in an Alcove on the real grass Lawn Club. A relaxed mind and reinvigorated body - it’s the best holiday souvenir of all.

Facts

CELEBRITY SOLSTICE®

Guest Capacity: 2,850
Crew members: 1,250
Entered Service: 2008
Gross Tonnage: 122,000
Cabins: 1426
Dining options: Murano (French), Tuscan Grille (Italian), Silk Harvest (Asian), Main Dining Room (a la carte), Sushi on Five, Luminae (Suite only guests), Blu (AquaClass® only guests), Oceanview Café (buffet-style), Café al Bacio, AquaSpa Café, Pool Grill.
Entertainment: A Taste of Film, duty-free shopping, casino, theatre shows, trivia, Hollywood Hot Glass
Special features: The Lawn Club, adults-only Solarium, Canyon Ranch® spa, The Alcoves, Suite Class, 85% Balcony Staterooms, Ice-topped Martini Bar

CELEBRITY ECLIPSE® (sailing in Australia from 2020)

Guest Capacity: 2,850
Crew members: 1,250
Entered Service: 2010
Gross Tonnage: 122,000
Cabins: 1428
Dining options: Murano (French), Tuscan Grille (Italian), Qsine (contemporary), Main Dining Room (a la carte), Sushi on Five, Luminae (Suite only guests), Blu (AquaClass® only guests), Oceanview Café (buffet-style), Café al Bacio, AquaSpa Café, Pool Grill.
Entertainment: A Taste of Film, duty-free shopping, casino, theatre shows, trivia, Hollywood Hot Glass
Special features: The Lawn Club, adults-only Solarium, Canyon Ranch® spa, The Alcoves, ice-topped Martini Bar

Visit Celebritycruises.com.au
Call 1800 754 500
Contact your CLIA Travel Agent

There are big things happening in the luxury space, with lines ordering more cruise ships, and the vessels becoming increasingly more luxurious.

It’s not just white gloved butlers and spacious cabins. Lines are taking their ships to a whole new level – suites are becoming more extravagant and itineraries and excursions more bespoke.

Promoted as the world’s most luxurious ship, Regent Seven Seas Cruise’s Seven Seas Explorer has a custom-made Steinway grand piano in the lavish 4,400 square feet suite as well as an in-suite spa and full sauna.

But it’s not just about the amenities. It’s about the experience.

Luxury cruise lines are now expanding their fleets to provide their guests with luxurious experiences on expedition voyages.

Ponant is currently building four new expedition ships in the new Explorers series, two of which have already commenced sailing, with Le Laperouse visiting Australia for the first time. These new ships are being built with a special underwater observation lounge – the first ever at sea. Guests will be able to sip on martinis while scouring the sea for underwater life – including whales.

Late last year, the cruise line also revealed its first hybrid electric-LNG powered icebreaker, which will cater for just 270 guests, carry a fleet of Zodiac®, and offer very large panoramic suites, personalised service, gastronomic cuisine and a spa.

Crystal Cruises is now just one arm of a company that has expanded into yachts, river ships and even airplanes.

Cuisine is another part of the experience where luxury cruise lines set the bar high. Lines such as Seabourn and Oceania Cruises have partnered with Michelin starred chefs. In 2016, Seabourn announced it would be working with top American chef, Thomas Keller, whose restaurant, the French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley and Per Se in New York have earned him three Michelin stars.

Chef Keller’s The Grill, which is on board Seabourn Encore as well the line’s new ship Seabourn Ovation, revolves around the idea of the classic American steakhouse where diners can feat on the best quality steaks, crab cakes, lemon sole as well as desserts such as ice cream sundaes.

So what sets luxury cruising apart from the rest? Personalised service is paramount with butlers on hand to unpack your bags or book your table at restaurants. Top notch service also means a high crew-to-passenger ratio so staff are able to pander to guests’ every whim and fancy.

There’s also the added perks like free WiFi, free shore excursions, all-inclusive itineraries, more spacious suites with balconies, art works hanging on the walls (Seven Seas Explorer has a real Picasso onboard), bed furnishings, marble bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes. Your stateroom will also be stocked with a selection of your favourite spirits, wines and snacks.

It’s all about making guests feel special – the more pampered passengers are made to feel, the more likely they will return to the line again.

From the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line, the unrivalled Crystal Experience has evolved into an extraordinary collection of remarkable travel experiences that goes far beyond all-inclusive luxury to offer the most elegant journeys by ocean, yacht, river and air. Modern and sophisticated, yet infused with a classic elegance, Crystal is defined by a fleet of stylish ships, yachts and jets of exceptional design, epic land adventures and a level of six-star service simply unsurpassed in luxury travel today.

Crystal Cruises offers all-inclusive luxury ocean journeys accentuated by exquisite cuisine (including an evening of specialty dining at Prego and Nobu Matshuhisa’s only sea-going restaurants); endless pours of select Champagnes, wines and spirits; engaging enrichment at the Creative Learning Institute® and Computer University@Sea®; lavish production shows and intimate piano bars; and beautifully appointed staterooms and suites, most with private verandah. Crystal’s enduring legacy of excellence began with Crystal Cruises, and ships that set a new standard of luxury in the cruise industry. Sailing innovative global itineraries to virtually every corner of the earth, today, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity offer travellers unforgettable holidays at sea highlighted by Crystal’s unique brand of personal touches and attention to detail.

Crystal, Where Luxury Is Personal.

Dining

Crystal’s culinary story is amongst the most defining aspects of the Crystal Experience. Our commitment to purity and creativity is more than just award winning, it is life enhancing. Over beautifully set tables with a continuous, complimentary pour of the finest wines, camaraderie and conversation transcends to new heights while dining on cuisine of Michelin-level envy. A delectable menu of classic favourites is presented alongside progressive Modern Cuisine selections in Waterside dining room. From Nobuyaki “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s only sea-going restaurants and indulgent wine-pairing menus in the Vintage Room to authentic Italian specialties at Prego, café fare at The Bistro and proper English Tea in Palm Court, with Crystal you are spoiled for choice.

Accommodation

With privileged views of an ever-changing horizon, most enjoyed from a private veranda, spacious staterooms and suites are indulgent sanctuaries of welcoming comfort. Everything you could ever desire is already here – sumptuous beds piled high with plush duvets, the finest linens and pillows of your choice, state-of-the-art interactive TVs and high-tech automation and a well-stocked bar – yet it’s the level of detailed craftsmanship and standard of quality amenities that transform the space into your very own home upon the sea.

Entertainment

Crystal Cruises has long been renowned for its lavish entertainment, with the most diverse activity and entertainment programs afloat, even the most discerning theatre-goers, concert-lovers and dance aficionados will appreciate the musical styles that range from nostalgic and classical to popular and contemporary.

Always on the leading edge of what’s happening in entertainment, Crystal has partnered with Kevin McCollum, Tony Award-winning producer of sensational productions such as Rent, Motown: The Musical, In the Heights and more, who will debut Crystal on Broadway aboard both ships. These exclusive performances will join Crystal’s ever-evolving high-tech shows, like The Tourist and  Imagine by “America’s Got Talent” finalist iLuminate, as well as the Crystal original production of 6/8 Café: A Jukebox Musical, an energetic mash-up of 60’s and 80’s favourites.

Highlights

  • Acclaimed cuisine in up to seven dining venues
  • Unlimited select fine wines, champagne and spirits
  • All gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff throughout the ship
  • Crystal Visions® Enrichment Series by renowned authors, ambassadors, celebrities and destination experts
  • Enrichment at the innovative Creative Learning Institute® and the Computer University@Sea®
  • Fitness programs with classes in yoga, mat Pilates, Spinning®, Walk-on-Water® weighted vests and PGA golf instruction
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi

Facilities

  • 360° wraparound Promenade Deck
  • Crystal’s Seahorse outdoor lap pool
  • Full-size paddle tennis courts
  • Crystal Spa & Salon
  • State-of-the-art Fitness Centre
  • Multiple venues for musical theatre, contemporary and concert-style productions, headline entertainers, dance bands and more
  • Cigars and Cognacs in the Connoisseur Club
  • Recent-release films in the Dolby® surround-sound Hollywood Theatre
  • Dedicated children and teen play area
  • Dedicated Bridge lounge
  • Resorts World at Sea® Casino
  • Shopping Promenade

Facts

 

Crystal Symphony

Passenger: 848

Total Crew: 566

Year Entered Service: 1995

Tonnage: 51,044

Dining Options:

  • Marketplace & Churrascaria
  • Palm Court
  • Prego
  • Scoops Ice Cream Bar
  • Silk Kitchen & Bar
  • The Bistro
  • The Vintage Room
  • Trident Grill
  • Umi Uma & Sushi Bar
  • Waterside
  • 24 hour room service

Entertainment

  • Avenue Saloon
  • Connoisseur Club
  • Crystal Cove
  • Galaxy Lounge
  • Hollywood Theatre
  • Palm Court
  • Starlite Club
  • Resorts World at Sea Casino

Star Rating: Six Star

Crystal Serenity

Passenger: 980

Total Crew: 655

Year Entered Service: 2003

Tonnage: 68,870

Dining Options:

  • Marketplace & Churrascaria
  • Palm Court
  • Prego
  • Scoops Ice Cream Bar
  • Silk Kitchen & Bar
  • The Bistro
  • The Vintage Room
  • Trident Grill
  • Umi Uma & Sushi Bar
  • Waterside
  • 24 hour room service

Entertainment

  • Avenue Saloon
  • Connoisseur Club
  • Crystal Cove
  • Galaxy Lounge
  • Hollywood Theatre
  • Pulse
  • Palm Court
  • Stardust Club
  • Sunset Bar
  • Resorts World at Sea Casino

Call to Action

For further information or to make a booking contact your Preferred Travel Advisor or visit crystalcruises.com

T 61 2 8074 6500 | 1300 059 263 (Local Call Australia) | 0800 600 108 (New Zealand Toll Free)

E res.anz@crystalcruises.com

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the Most Inclusive Luxury Experience™ with a five-ship fleet that visits more than 450 destinations around the globe. Welcome aboard the World’s Most Luxurious Fleet, Seven Seas Explorer®, Seven Seas Voyager®, Seven Seas Mariner® and Seven Seas Navigator®, the pinnacles of elegance and grace. Seven Seas Splendor™ will make her debut in 2020 and will set a new standard for luxury by striving for the ultimate achievement: perfection.  

These intimate ships are just the right size — small enough so you never experience a line or a wait, and large enough that you can get lost in a bestseller without interruption or distraction.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the leader in the luxury cruise segment, the line's fares include:

  • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions
  • FREE Unlimited WIFI*
  • FREE Specialty Restaurants
  • FREE Unlimited Beverages Including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits*
  • FREE Open Bars and Lounges Plus Mini-Bar Replenished Daily
  • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities
  • FREE 1 Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package in Concierge Suites and Higher*
  • FREE 24-Hour Room Service
  • FREE pre-and post cruise land programme on select sailings*

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

Dining

Whether you are delighting in a casual al fresco lunch at the Pool Grill while overlooking the ocean blue or savouring a USDA Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak while enjoying the sophisticated ambiance of Prime 7, our highly trained culinary team has put their heart and soul into making your every bite better than the last. From the warm welcome of your Maître D’, to the impeccable service of your Waiter, to the elegant décor and flawless presentation of each restaurant, you will be consistently pleased — and that’s before you are swept away by our Chefs’ creations and our Sommeliers’ perfect wine pairings.

You can enjoy our delicious cuisine just when, where and with whom you wish in up to 7 restaurants.

Paired with complimentary wines and impeccable service, this star treatment comes at no additional premium for the privilege. Even dining in our speciality restaurants is complimentary. And if solitude suits your mood, simply order from our extensive room service menu expertly delivered to your suite complete with full tableware linen and service. Room service is complimentary and available 24 hours a day.

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

Accommodation

Each ship features all-suite accommodation that boasts elegant décor with custom-crafted furnishings and marble accents, as well as large private balconies. And with suites ranging from a generous 28 up to 413 m2, elegance and comfort comes as standard in every category, showcasing sophisticated design, luxurious fabrics and original artwork.

Your all-suite accommodation always includes...

  • European king-size bed or twin bed configuration featuring our exclusive Suite Slumber Bed®
  • Separate sitting area.
  • Free WiFi access on board.
  • Marble-appointed bathroom with tub and/or shower.
  • Spacious walk-in closet or custom built-in closet.
  • 24-hour room service with dinner served course-by-course.
  • Mini-bar replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water — all complimentary.
  • L’Occitane® Mer & Mistral toiletries for all categories aboard all ships.
  • Interactive flat-screen television with extensive media library and complimentary movies-on-demand.

With some of the largest private balconies at sea, and an enviable staff -to-guest ratio, It is no wonder that the fleet is consistently voted the best at sea.

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

Entertainment

A journey on board the ships of Regent Seven Seas Cruises® will forever change you, and the durable bonds and joyous friendships with fellow world travellers will make the experience truly unforgettable.

The warm, friendly ambiance of our ships creates the perfect atmosphere for cherished moments, and the elegant, yet casual onboard pleasures are all included. Mingle over cocktails in a club-style piano bar, join a samba class in a plush lounge or enjoy the shared experience of watching a Broadway-style performance in an intimate two-tier theatre. Attend a fascinating lecture by a revered expert or delight in friendly competition, whether you excel at sports or are knowledgeable at trivia.

Our ships are just the right size for lively social get-togethers with fellow travellers and cosy enough to share a cup of tea with your best friend.

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

Highlights

What inspires you to travel? Is it the adventure of waking up to a new horizon every morning? Or is it learning new things about the people and places you visit? Although everyone travels for a different reason, we can all agree that travel can be a life-changing experience.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises® intrinsically understands the romance of the journey. Therefore we are the only cruise line to offer FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions in over 468 ports of call. Learn a traditional dance. Walk in the footsteps of ancient emperors. Enjoy a home-cooked meal thousands of miles away from your own kitchen. All of these moments are possible, and so much more.

Do you wish to extend your holiday at your embarkation or debarkation port city?  Select voyages include a FREE 3-night Pre- or Post-Cruise Land Programme that is a seamless extension of your onboard experience.

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

Facts

The Fleet:

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the Most Inclusive Luxury Experience™, with exceptional service and award-winning, intimate all-suite vessels that are among the most decadent at sea. With an enviable staff-to-guest ratio, our intimate, luxurious ships carry 490 - 750 guests, resulting in not only an enhanced experience for our guests, but also access to some of the most exclusive cruising destinations in the world.

SEVEN SEAS MARINER

OVERALL LENGTH . . . .216.1 m
BEAM (WIDTH) . . . . . . .28.3 m
DRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.4 m
GUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .700
OFFICERS . . . . . . . . . . . .European
CREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .445 European/International
GUEST DECKS . . . . . . . .8
GROSS TONNAGE . . . . .48,075
CRUISING SPEED . . . . .20 Knots
SHIP’S REGISTRY . . . . .Bahamas

UPGRADED 2018

Part of the world’s first all-suite, all-balcony fleet, Seven Seas Mariner exceeds even the loftiest expectations for luxury. Seven Seas Mariner underwent a bow-to-stern refurbishment in April, 2018.

Her features include:

A wide choice of gourmet dining venues designed to appeal to the most discerning palates:
Compass Rose features European-inspired continental cuisine.

La Veranda is comfortably casual, offering breakfast and lunch in a buffet style, with regional specialties.

Prime 7 is glamour redefined, a new and luxurious standard in steakhouse fare with its contemporary interpretation of a classic American favourite.

Chartreuse is sublime and purely French, for an experience rivalling finest Parisian restaurants.

Only 700 guests - ensuring the absolute highest level of personal service with staff to guest ratio of 1:1.6.

Spacious all-balcony suites that range from 28 square metres to 186 square metres.

An expansive teak pool deck including a large heated pool and two whirlpools.

SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER

OVERALL LENGTH . . . .204 m
BEAM (WIDTH) . . . . . . .28.6 m
DRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 m
GUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .700
OFFICERS . . . . . . . . . . . .European
CREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .447 European/International
GUEST DECKS . . . . . . . .9
GROSS TONNAGE . . . . .42,363
CRUISING SPEED . . . . .20 Knots
SHIP’S REGISTRY . . . . .Bahamas

Seven Seas Voyager recently underwent a transformational enhancement programme. Some of the enhanced features include:

Gourmet dining venues designed to appeal to the most discerning palates

Compass Rose: The ship’s flagship restaurant received a stunning new look with grand crystal chandeliers, rich wooden accents and celestial blue furnishings. The restaurant features a completely new menu that offers guests an unprecedented level of personal customisation and choice, making it essentially the largest specialty restaurant at sea.

La Veranda: will feature a fresh and airy design with light grey coloured flooring and accent walls which accentuate the natural light coming from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. In a major structural change, the buffet is now open to both sides of the restaurant and features a new cook-to-order grill station.

Prime 7: is glamour redefined, a new and luxurious standard in steakhouse fare with its contemporary interpretation of a classic American favourite.

Chartreuse: Already a guest favourite on Seven Seas Explorer, Chartreuse made its debut on Seven Seas Voyager as part of the ship’s refurbishment. The French restaurant features new furnishings, china, flooring and décor elements inspired by the Chartreuse on Seven Seas Explorer, along with a completely new menu.

Only 700 guests per voyage ensuring the absolute highest level of personal service with staff to guest ratio of 1:1.6.

Spacious all-balcony suites that range from 28 square metres to 186 square metres.

An expansive teak pool deck including a large heated pool and two whirlpools.

In addition to her elegant new décor, the ship will debut five new production shows in the Constellation Theater.

SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR

OVERALL LENGTH . 172.5 m
BEAM (WIDTH) . 24.6 m
DRAFT . 7.3 m
GUESTS . 490
OFFICERS . European
CREW . 345 European/International
GUEST DECKS . 8
GROSS TONNAGE . 28,803
CRUISING SPEED . 20 Knots
SHIP’S REGISTRY . Bahamas

The fleet’s most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator offers unparalleled levels of luxury with some of the highest space and staff ratios at sea, allowing guests to explore the globe in style and comfort, and features:

Exquisite dining at three restaurants - including the iconic Prime 7 steakhouse, the flagship Compass Rose and the spacious and comfortably casual La Veranda – allowing guests to dine wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose, at no additional charge.

Only 490 guests per voyage ensuring the absolute highest level of personal service with staff to guest ratio of 1:1.4.

All-suite accommodations with ocean views, the majority with private balconies.

A teak pool deck, the ideal spot to lounge the day away or go for a swim in the large heated pool.

SEVEN SEAS EXPLORER

OVERALL LENGTH . . . .224 m
BEAM (WIDTH) . . . . . . .31 m
DRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 m
GUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .750
OFFICERS . . . . . . . . . . . .European
CREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .542 International
GUEST DECKS . . . . . . . .10
GROSS TONNAGE . . . . .56,000
CRUISING SPEED . . . . .19.5 Knots
SHIP’S REGISTRY . . . . .Marshall Islands

The youngest of the current fleet and hailed as The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built™, Seven Seas Explorer is setting a new standard for luxury cruise holidays, and features:

Only 750 guests ensuring the absolute highest level of personal service with an intimate staff to guest ratio of 1:1.35.

The one-of-a-kind, opulent 413-square metre, two-bedroom Regent Suite with in-room spa retreat – the first at sea.

Lavish gourmet restaurants offering an eclectic array of options, including:

Pacific Rim: a dramatic new Pan-Asian specialty restaurant.

Chartreuse: evokes memories of a chic Parisian fine dining restaurant, featuring a classic French menu with a modern twist.

Luxuriously appointed lounges and theatres with a wide variety of complimentary libations, live musical performances and breathtaking production shows.

The two-tiered, 694-seat Constellation Theater, which pays homage to the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age, with the music and dance of world-renowned entertainers.

The Observation Lounge brings to life the opulence and indulgences of the roaring 1920s. Floor to ceiling windows surround the room, providing guests with incredible ocean vistas.

Exclusive Gourmet Explorer Tours offer guests the unique opportunity to experience the culinary culture of the world’s most delicious destinations. Guests will savour authentic flavours of a region, venture out to local markets to find exotic spices, sample delicious wines at breathtaking estates and savour gourmet meals expertly prepared by renowned chefs.

Exclusive Culinary Arts Kitchen, the brand’s first cooking school at sea, expands guests’ culinary skills in an environment reminiscent of prestigious French cooking schools.

SEVEN SEAS SPLENDOR™

OVERALL LENGTH . 224 m
BEAM (WIDTH) . 31 m
DRAFT . 7 m
GUESTS . 750
OFFICERS . European
CREW . 542 International
GUEST DECKS . 10
GROSS TONNAGE . 55,254
CRUISING SPEED . 19.5 Knots
SHIP’S REGISTRY . Marshall Islands

To make her debut in 2020, Seven Seas Splendor will set a new standard for luxury by striving for the ultimate achievement – perfection – and will be the best way to travel to the world’s most beautiful destinations.

Only 750 guests per voyage ensuring the absolute highest level of personal service with an intimate staff to guest ratio of 1:1.35.

Guests will enjoy awe-inspiring public spaces as well as 375 beautifully appointed, all-balcony suites ranging from the 28.5 square-metre entry-level Veranda Suite, to the lavish 412 square-metre Regent Suite: The Regent, Master, Grand, Splendor, Seven Seas and Penthouse Suites represent the 88 Distinctive Suites onboard Seven Seas Splendor In addition to all the amenities currently included on Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests booked in a Distinctive Suite are entitled to one-night pre-cruise hotel package, priority restaurant reservations, daily canapé delivery, personalised butler service, choice of luxurious bath amenities and a customised pillow menu.

The Concierge suites account for 140 suites aboard Seven Seas Splendor™. In addition to all the amenities currently included on Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, guests booked in a Concierge suite are entitled to one-night pre-cruise hotel package and priority access to book transformative shore excursions and specialty dining.

The Superior, Deluxe Veranda and Veranda Suites on Seven Seas Splendor™ are 43, 34, and 29 square metres respectively, placing them among the most spacious entry-level staterooms at sea.

Several popular areas from sister ship Seven Seas Explorer on Decks Four and Five of Seven Seas Splendor will see some significant additions: The Grand Staircase will now face the entrance to her largest restaurant, Compass Rose, evoking an enchanting sense of arrival for guests as they’re greeted by extraordinary decor.

Coffee Connection is moving to the port side of the ship and is being expanded with a new al fresco seating area, allowing guests to savour their custom coffee creations and pastries while enjoying calm ocean breezes.

Pacific Rim will remain on the port side, offering guests an unobstructed view of the eatery’s stately central sculpture from the Reception area.

Sette Mari at La Veranda: will feature a fresh and airy design with light grey coloured flooring and accent walls which accentuate the natural light coming from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. In a major structural change, the buffet is now open to both sides of the restaurant and features a new cook-to-order grill station.

Prime 7: is glamour redefined, a new and luxurious standard in steakhouse fare with its contemporary interpretation of a classic American favourite.

Chartreuse: Already a guest favourite on Seven Seas Explorer, Chartreuse will make its debut on Seven Seas Splendor.

For more information call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), book online at RSCC.com or contact your local travel agent.

*Terms and Conditions

Select beverages include selected wines, spirits, beer and champagne. FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package applies to guests 1 and 2 in Concierge Suites and higher and is valid for new bookings made within 60 days of departure. Not all promotions are combinable. FREE Unlimited Wi-Fi includes one log-in, one device, per suite. Concierge Suites and higher receive up to four logins, four devices, per suite. Land Programmes available on certain sailings, maybe subject to change and are not combinable with 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package

Adventure cruising is becoming more intrepid than ever with lines building more innovative, sleek and luxurious ships and they are taking you further afar. Adventure cruises are usually on smaller vessels and generally carry fewer passengers so guests get a more personalised experience. These cruises will normally have experts onboard that will teach guests about their surrounds and will also offer shore excursions like hiking, kayaking, whale watching, scuba diving and even helicopter landings on glaciers.

Generally, cabins tend to be slightly smaller and there are fewer facilities and activities onboard. But these cruises about the destination rather than the ship.

While adventure cruising may be more expensive than other types of cruises, you will go to places that most people only dream of like the Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises. You’ll see some of the most amazing wildlife like the famous penguins, marine iguanas and the blue footed boobie birds.

Other lines like APT Small Ships take guests to destinations like the Arctic where they can see polar bears and the Northern Lights, the remote Kimberley Coast to see the spectacular King George Falls as well as the ice-clad peaks of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Luxury lines like Ponant and Crystal Cruises will take you to these kind of destinations but in style. In 2016, Crystal Cruises sailed through the Northwest Passage on the Crystal Serenity after it was transformed into a world-class expedition ship.

It took guests through a passage way that was only once able to be chartered on small ships but guests onboard had their own butlers, luxurious suites as well as specialty dining – think the finest Japanese food and Italian cuisine.

If you’re after something really different, Aranui hosts its guest aboard a half cargo, half passenger ship which will take you to the remote Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

Guests will see pristine beaches, some of the bluest waters and even deliver cargo to the locals where you will meet and eat with them.

In the small ship category, Katarina Line, which is known for their small ship experiences, takes you into the heart of Croatia. Sailing along the Dalmatian coastline, the line will take you on hikes around some of the lesser known islands in Croatia, eat and drink wine with local families and go hiking along the stunning cliff faces.

A cruise like no other, Aranui 5 is a mixed cargo and passenger vessel, which offers one of the few remaining cargo cruise experiences in the world, as well as the only regular voyage to the virtually untouched Marquesas Islands.

For the past 60 years, Aranui Cruises has maintained a vital lifeline between the remote Marquesas and the outside world with its roundtrip cruises from Papeete delivering food, fuel and other staples to the far-flung island communities.

Aranui 5 is such an important part of the Marquesas that locals often refer to the ship as the seventh inhabited island.

During the 13-day cruise, guests have the chance to explore nine islands across three striking and distinct French Polynesian archipelagoes including Bora Bora and its famed blue lagoon; the chance to walk in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin on Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa in the Marquesas; and the picturesque Tuamotu ports of Fakarava and Rangiroa.

While its muscular and proficient sailors take control of the freight, passengers disembark and explore on a range of complimentary excursions including hikes to archaeological sites, 4WD tours, a visit to the Paul Gauguin museum and a picnic on a private island in Bora Bora.

The 3800km journey across the South Pacific is the ultimate immersion in French Polynesia and the cruising adventure of a lifetime.

Dining

From local feasts in Marquesas villages to a picnic on an idyllic Bora Bora island and special barbecues on Aranui 5’s pool deck, all meals are included in the cruise fare.

Most meals are served in Aranui 5’s informal restaurant, where guests can taste the distinctive flavours of French Polynesia while getting to know each other in a casual, communal setting. Three meals are served daily starting with a breakfast buffet boasting tropical fruit, pastries and a hot breakfast.

Lunch and dinner consists of a three-course meal including fresh bread, salad, mains such as fresh caught Wahoo, New Zealand lamb or Chow Mein, and dessert. Guests can also enjoy complimentary French wine with lunch and dinner onboard.

During special Polynesian themed nights, a barbecue is served on the pool deck including a mix of seafood, grilled meat, tropical fruit and sweets.

Several lunches are enjoyed ashore and in true Marquesan-style, guests are treated to local delicacies including poisson cru (raw fish salad), an “umu” (meat cooked in an earth oven), as well as breadfruit, taro and sweet bananas.

Accommodation

Aranui 5 can accommodate 254 guests in air-conditioned comfort.

The ship offers a range of accommodation to suit all types of travellers from dormitories to single staterooms and premium and deluxe categories. More than half of the ship’s rooms feature a private balcony - five times more than predecessor Aranui 3.

While dormitories and single staterooms are available, most suites are in the premium and deluxe categories, with a private balcony, king size bed (or two singles), flatscreen TV and in the case of the suites, a separate living space.

For the ultimate Aranui experience, a Presidential Suite offers 53sqm of luxury on the top deck including a large balcony.

The well-appointed suites and cabins are styled with a Polynesian flourish and contain all the mod cons you’d expect from a modern cruise ship.

Entertainment

Aranui 5 may be a freighter, but it’s also a cruise ship. The 126-metre ship is home to a library, boutique, lounges, conference rooms, a gym, a spa and four bars including the Veranda Bar with a deck overlooking the aft of the ship and the Sky Bar offering a panoramic view of the cargo deck and the ocean beyond.

The Aranui Spa offers a variety of treatments by a fully trained wellness and massage therapist including manicures and massages. A local tattooist is also available for any guests wanting a special souvenir from the trip.

There is a medical centre onboard and a self-serve laundry, although a free weekly laundry service is available.

While Aranui 5 guests spend most of their time ashore exploring beautiful French Polynesian islands, when they are onboard they can sunbathe on deck, swim in the pool or just gaze out at the sea in search of dolphins, whales and flying fish.

Sea days offer a chance to attend a lecture or take part in a cultural workshop such as weaving, dancing, cooking, wrapping a pareo, playing the ukulele, language, and even ‘tatau’, a tradition which originated in the Marquesas.

In the evenings, Aranui’s multi-talented crew can often be found entertaining guests with traditional music or sharing stories of their homeland over a Hinano (local beer).

On special nights, local performers are invited onboard to share their island’s unique dance traditions.

Highlights

An Aranui cruise offers the easiest, best value and most authentic way to visit nine French Polynesian islands including the volcanic Marquesas, the palm-fringed Tuamotus and beautiful Bora Bora in the Society Islands.

During the 13-day cruise, guests embark on a voyage of discovery across the South Pacific to ‘the land of men’, as the Marquesas are known.

One of the most remote island groups in the world, the Marquesas Islands are located around 4800 kilometres from the nearest continental land mass.

Believed to have been the home of Polynesian people for almost 2000 years, the Marquesas have long fascinated and intrigued explorers, artists and dreamers, most notably artist Paul Gauguin, novelists Robert Louis Stevenson and Herman Melville, and musician Jacques Brel.

During calls to Hiva Oa, Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva, guests experience the real Polynesia on walks to ancient marae sites and during interactions with locals at village feasts and tribal performances.

The cruise fare includes more than $2000 worth of guided shore excursions ensuring no one misses out on the highlights of each destination.

Facts

  • Ship: 1 – Aranui 5
  • Passengers: 254
  • Total crew: 98, mostly Polynesian
  • Year it entered service: 12/2015
  • Size: 11,400 gross tonnage, 126-metres long, 22-metres wide
  • Cabins: 104. One Presidential Suite, 8 Royal Suites, 20 Premium Suites, 3 Junior Suites, 24 Superior Deluxe staterooms, 7 Deluxe staterooms, 40 Standard staterooms, and dormitories with capacity for four or eight guests. Most (61) rooms feature a private balcony.
  • Dining options: One restaurant
  • Entertainment: Aranui Band
  • Facilities: Three bars, one boutique, one spa, one gym and two lounges
  • Special features: Unique passenger-freighter
  • Star rating: 4

Experience the true Croatia

Cruising Croatia is about so much more than ships and all the facilities onboard – it`s about setting out on a truly memorable journey to one of the world`s most popular destinations.

Katarina Line is a leading DMC in Kvarner - Croatia and premier small ship cruise company. We offer weekly guaranteed departures from April to mid-October from the major tourist centers; Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik, with a fleet of more than 60 vessels in six different vessel categories. Our cruise or land itineraries give travellers the chance to explore the stunning natural environment and picturesque, quaint Mediterranean towns while hopping from one island to another. This unique way of travelling and exploring the coastal towns is one of the most popular and easiest way to experience the true Croatia. With our land & cruise programs travellers get the opportunity to explore coastal and continental Croatia as well as neighboring countries.

Katarina Line vessels cruise by day, providing spectacular views of the Croatian Riviera, hill-dotted island and pristine, unspoiled natural wonders. Dive in crystal-clear waters on daily swimming stops at secluded bays or at world-famous beaches, and dock in historical towns just waiting to be discovered... by you. Unlike bigger cruise liners with limited time in port, Katarina Line vessels dock right in the heart of even the smallest destinations, so guests can leace or re-embark the ship at will and explore UNESCO-protected sites, historical laneways and see the sights of major tourist centres.

Dining

The fully air-conditioned dining area accommodates all passengers at once, yet offer a degree of privacy for each guest. A portion of the dining area extends outdoors as a lounge area, offering sweeping panoramic views of the surroundings. Katarina Line chefs carefully produce artistic local specialities prepared of fresh ingredients bought at local markets. Hot and cold buffet breakfast is served in the morning and three course lunch in early afternoon. A four course Captain`s sensational dinner with entertainment on board is also included.

Accommodation

Katarina Line ships are floating boutique hotels that accommodate small groups attended by 7 to 9 crew members. Cabins built by modern standards, fully equipped with A/C, safe deposit box, fire alarm and audio system for announcements by captain or Tour Director. Each cabin has life jackets, desk and tabouret, wardrobe, night stand, chair or sofa and a portholes. Bathrooms are equipped with toilet, shower, wash basin and hair dryer. Some cabins have indoor passage access to the bar and restaurant area.

Entertainment

Most of our cruises offer formal „Captain`s dinner“ with live music and entertainment on some evenings during which you will spend your time in Captain`s company and taste many typical specialties. Enjoy the beautiful views of Croatian coastline while tasting olive oil and domestic wine on board. Join the Village party excursion and visit some of the typical villages where you can enjoy traditional dinning in konoba restaurants or get your taste buds working and try some of the best Croatian wine sorts on Wine Tasting excursions. One of the best experiences is cruising alongside the old Dubrovnik city walls while lunch is served on deck.

Highlights

Lounge sundecks with average surface of 200m2 (2152 sq ft)m partially offering sun-shade and deck-beds for all passengers. The vessels have rear platforms for easy access to the water. In addition, the vessels offer jacuzzi, outdoor showers and deck lavatories.

Deluxe vessels visit small historical towns as well as world famous destinations such as Split, Dubrovnik, Opatija, Zadar and jet-set island Hvar. Croatia is rich in monumental heritage visible at every step. To compliment stunning Croatian coastal towns, wonderful scenery of unspoilt nature is visible during cruising between the islands, and heaven on Earth is experienced on daily swimming stops at secluded bays. This unique way of travelling and exploring coastal towns is one of the most popular and easiest way to experience THE TRUE CROATIA.

Facts

  • Fleet: 63 motor vessels in 6 different categories (Deluxe Superior, Deluxe, Premium Superior, Premium, Traditional Ensuite, Traditional)
  • Ships: The smallest vessel: St. Roko (19m), Traditional category
    The biggest vessel: Nautilus (49m), Deluxe Superior category
    Passenger number: from 16 up to 36 persons
    Number of crew members: from 4 to 12 crew members (Croatian Crew)
  • Facilities: All of our vessels have a bar and restaurant, spacious sun decks and lounge area. Deluxe & Deluxe Superior vessel categories have a jacuzzi; all ships excluding traditional and Traditional Ensuite categories have a platform for swimming and easier access to the sea.
  • Entertainment: ""Captain`s dinner“ with live music and entertainment on some evenings during which you will spend your time in Captain`s company and taste many typical specialties.
  • Katarina Line: Katarina line, family owned and founded in 1992, is one of the leading DMC's in Croatia and the premier small ship cruise company with weekly guaranteed departures from the end of April to mid-October from the major tourist centers of Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik.

Ponant

Photographs: © PONANT: Studio PONANT (Top Image) & Nick Rains (Above Image)

PONANT, the World Leader of Luxury Expeditions has been sailing the seas for over 30 years and is currently the only cruise line to sail under the French flag. Embark on a unique concept of sea travel on board intimate modern ships offering exceptional itineraries, combining authentic experiences, cultural encounters, and stops in remote places not accessible by larger ships. Visit amazing sites combining immersive experiences and encounters that bring you closer to nature and native cultures - these are the privileges that our small luxury expedition ships offer you.

On board, experience refined ambiance, comfort and intuitive service, sailing on the world’s youngest fleet of ice-rated environmentally responsible small luxury expedition ships, with just 92 to 132 staterooms & suites - 95% featuring a private balcony - enjoy an Open Bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, outstanding gastronomy and inclusive wines.

Accompanied by experienced guides, lecturers or an Expedition team, time ashore is maximised, with many voyages featuring UNESCO-listed sites and excursions. On Polar and Tropical Expeditions our fleet of Zodiac® make landing ashore in remote, seldom visited destinations, safe and enjoyable, enabling guests to get right into the heart of destinations.

Unexpected outings among the majestic glaciers in Antarctica, exciting wildlife encounters in the Arctic and Alaska, memorable cultural interactions in Oceania, historic sites in the Mediterranean or relaxing on idyllic beaches in the Caribbean…with more than 400 expertly created voyages to choose from, you are sure to find a PONANT cruise to suit your travel desires.

To keep up to date with our latest news, events registration, and cruise specials register to receive our newsletter here.

To request a brochure please click here.

Visit au.ponant.com for more information.

Dining

Photographs: © PONANT: François Lefebvre (Top Image) & Studio PONANT (Above Image)

An essential element of French culture, gastronomy is naturally high on the agenda aboard PONANT ships. Fresh products, carefully selected ingredients, exquisite dishes: prepared by our talented French Chefs and accompanied by a selection of wine presented by expert sommeliers. Guests have the choice of two restaurants, the Gastronomic Restaurant or the Grill Restaurant.

PONANT also works with prestigious partners who share the same constant pursuit of excellence and who are ambassadors for French luxury all over the world. One of these major partners is Ducasse Conseil, a catering centre run by Alain Ducasse Enterprise, who helps to ensure PONANT’s culinary standards are as high a possible. Others include Ladurée macarons for afternoon tea, Lenôtre sweet pastries, bread, Veuve Clicquot champagne at the Captain's gala cocktails, fragrant aromas of the Palais des Thés, and Évian mineral water.

An Open Bar is included (premium alcoholic drinks excluded) as well as free 24-hour room service for those wishing to dine in the privacy of their stateroom.

Click here for more information.

Accommodation

The PONANT fleet is comprised of 7 small luxury expedition ships and 1 three-mastered sailing ship, with 4 new EXPLORERS ships to join the fleet this year and next. These smaller-capacity ships boast 32 to 132 elegantly-designed staterooms and spacious suites, 95% with private balcony (all cabins on PONANT EXPLORER ships have a balcony while no balcony is available on Le Ponant three-mastered ship). Offering French-designed interiors and ambiance, guests can enjoy luxury amenities, superior comfort and personalised service – the feeling of being on board one’s own personal yacht. Free 24-hour room service is offered with a laundry service available at an additional cost.

Photographs: © PONANT: Christophe Dugied (Top Image) & Studio PONANT (Above Image)

In 2021 we will welcome Le Commandant Charcot the first electric hybrid exploration cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). With just 135 cabins, including 68 suites with private balconies, this ship remains true to the PONANT philosophy of providing every guest with a relaxed ambience never-before seen at the very top or bottom of the globe, and offering guests true polar odysseys.

Click here for more information.

Highlights

PONANT highlights:

  • World Leader of Luxury Expeditions & Polar Expert for over 30 years;
  • The only cruise company in the world sailing under the French flag;
  • 7 small luxury expedition ships & 1 three-mastered sailing ship, with an additional 4 new EXPLORERS Ships to join the fleet this and next year followed by the first electric hybrid icebreaker cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be welcomed in 2021;
  • Youngest, most modern and ecological expedition fleet in the world;
  • Refined onboard ambience, superior comfort and personalised service – the feeling of being on your own personal yacht.
  • Small-sized ships allowing stops at remote, seldom visited ports, the ability to get right into the heart of ports and to transit narrow waterways such as the Corinth Canal;
  • Exceptional destinations that allow interaction with local cultures, observation of exceptional wildlife and the discovery of cultural treasures;
  • Presentations by guest speakers or Naturalist Guides;
  • Zodiac® outings and landings on Polar & Tropical Expeditions;
  • Themed cruises available.

Click here for more information.

Photographs: © PONANT: Mick Fogg (Top Image) & Laurence Fischer (Above Image)

Facilities

Facilities enjoyed on board include:

  • Lobby, Concierge, Reception & Excursion Desks;
  • 2 Restaurants: Gastronomic & Grill;
  • Open-Air Bar, Pool & Sun Deck;
  • 2 lounges: Main & Observatory;
  • World-first multi-sensory Blue Eye underwater lounge on PONANT’s new Explorers ships (see photo below);
  • Theatre to enjoy entertainment, lectures & presentations;
  • Fitness Room & Beauty Corner (Gym, Massage Room, Hairdresser & Hammam/ Balneo). Ocean View spa on Explorers ships;
  • Medical Centre & onboard Doctor;
  • Boutique, Photoshop, Internet Space & Library;
  • Marina for direct access to Zodiac® & water activities.

Le Ponant three-mastered ship has a different layout. Click here for details.

Click here for more information.

Photograph: © PONANT: Sterling Design International (Top Image) & Nick Rains (Above Image)

Facts

Le Ponant

No. of Passengers 64 Guests
Total Crew 32 Crew
Year Entered Service 1991
Tonnage 1,443 UMS
No. of Cabins 32 Staterooms with a porthole
Dining Options Gastronomic & Outside Panoramic Restaurants
Special Features Two Lounges, Sundeck & Marina for direct access to Zodiac®.
Star Rating Luxury Three-Mast Yacht

Le Boreal

No. of Passengers 264 Guests
Total Crew 140 Crew
Year Entered Service 2010
Tonnage 10,944 UMS
No. of Cabins 132 Staterooms & Suites (95% with Balcony)
Dining Options Gastronomic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Heated Outdoor Pool, Fitness & Beauty Corner (Gym, Massage Room, Hairdresser & Hammam/Balneo), Panoramic Lounge and Open-Air Bar, Marina for direct access to Zodiac®.
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

L’Austral

No. of Passengers 264 Guests
Total Crew 140 Crew
Year Entered Service 2011
Tonnage 10,944 UMS
No. of Cabins 132 Staterooms & Suites (95% with Balcony)
Dining Options Gastronomic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Heated Outdoor Pool, Fitness & Beauty Corner (Gym, Massage Room, Hairdresser & Hammam/Balneo), Panoramic Lounge and Open-Air Bar, Marina for direct access to Zodiac®.
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Soleal

No. of Passengers 264 Guests
Total Crew 140 Crew
Year Entered Service 2013
Tonnage 10,992 UMS
No. of Cabins 132 Staterooms & Suites (95% with Balcony)
Dining Options Gastronomic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Heated Outdoor Pool, Fitness & Beauty Corner (Gym, Massage Room, Hairdresser & Hammam/Balneo), Panoramic Lounge and Open-Air Bar, Marina for direct access to Zodiac®.
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Lyrial

No. of Passengers 244 Guests
Total Crew 140 Crew
Year Entered Service 2015
Tonnage 10,992 UMS
No. of Cabins 122 Staterooms & Suites (95% with Balcony)
Dining Options Gastronomic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Heated Outdoor Pool, Fitness & Beauty Corner (Gym, Massage Room, Hairdresser & Hammam/Balneo), Panoramic Lounge and Open-Air Bar, Marina for direct access to Zodiac®.
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Lapérouse

No. of Passengers 220 Guests
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entered Service 2018
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Champlain

No. of Passengers 220 Guests
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entered Service 2018
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class

Le Bougainville (currently under construction)

No. of Passengers 220 guests
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entering Service 2019
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Dumont-d’Urville (currently under construction)

No. of Passengers 220 Guest
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entering Service 2019
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Bellot (currently under construction)

No. of Passengers 220 Guests
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entering Service 2020
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Jacques Cartier (currently under construction)

No. of Passengers 220 Guests
Total Crew 110 Crew
Year Entering Service 2020
Tonnage 9,976 UMS
No. of Cabins 92 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features Ice-rated Luxury Expedition Small Ship, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Blue Eye Underwater Lounge, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, movable marina platform (allowing guests to swim and access water activities directly from the ship), submersible mini-port (enabling direct access to Zodiac® & water activities).
Star Rating Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship (Ice-Rated 1C Class)

Le Commandant Charcot (currently under construction)

No. of Passengers 270 Guests
Total Crew 187 Crew
Year Entering Service 2021
Tonnage 30,950 UMS (estimated as vessel still under construction)
No. of Cabins 135 Staterooms & Suites all with Balcony
Dining Options Panoramic & Grill Restaurants.
Entertainment Lectures from Guest Speakers & Naturalist Guides (depending on cruise), Dance Shows & Film Screenings, Live Music by Duets or Pianists & Performances from Musicians & Singers, Presentations from Chefs and Sommeliers or Art Exhibitions (on selected themed cruises).
Special Features The First Luxury Electric Hybrid Exploration Cruise Ship Powered by LNG, Environmentally Responsible Certified “Clean Ship”, Onboard French Ambience, Luxury Amenities and Gastronomy Partners. Facilities Include: Outdoor & Inside Pool, Spa & Wellness Centre, Winter Garden, Lounge, Sports Hall & Observatory Bar.
Star Rating Luxury Electric Hybrid Polar Exploration (PC2 Class – Powered by LNG)

Photograph: © PONANT: Stirling Design International  (Top Image)

River is becoming bigger and better than ever before with a number of new ship launches, a range of unique shore excursions and fabulous new destinations.

Not what you expect from river cruising, right? Actually, it’s arguably just the latest and most stark example of how river cruising is evolving from a holiday for an older demographic into a vacation for everyone.

For those who appreciate the appeal and convenience of a floating hotel, bowling along inland waters from one cultural experience to the next can be perfect. But river cruising also appeals to passengers who want to see the amazing wildlife of Peru or Africa. All from the comfort of a luxury small ship.

Exclusive excursions and shore visits are now the order of the day. And enriching themed cruising – from food and wine to battlefields, and art and culture – are growing. There is even a specialty cruise line for those who love gardens.

There have never been a bigger variety of ships, destinations and activities.  Nor more choice.

So what are the differences between river and ocean cruising (apart from the vast expanse of water!): river cruising tends to be busier, with a stop each day and an itinerary of shore activities. And more is “included” – from shore visits to food and wine.

There are bike tours, exclusive evening concerts, cooking classes, art lessons and even the chance to conduct an orchestra in Vienna.

Most start in fascinating locations like Paris, Amsterdam or Budapest, and often include an overnight stay.

How do you choose? That’s half the fun.

At Avalon Waterways, we see river cruising differently. We know that it’s not about looking a certain way, but about feeling a certain way. You’ve earned your time to breathe. The time and space to step out and see the world your way. Delight in the difference and comfort. Leaving the rules behind, but not the luxury.

With 14 years of innovation in river cruising, backed by 90 years of experience in the travel industry, we’ll fuel your passions and show you a world less seen – both from the comfort of your Panoramic Suite℠ and outside of it.

Unpack once and indulge more in your own private suite aboard our river cruise fleet. Drink in the view of quaint towns and villages from a unique vantage point. Tempt your tastebuds with decadent delicacies prepared by our renowned chefs. Choose your own adventure and create your own memories. Savour the freedom to do it all or just a little.

With river cruises covering Europe, Asia and South America, we can help bring your dreams to life. This is your time to experience the world the way you want to. Flex your joy and fuel your passions, it’s time to create the memories that you’ll be sharing forevermore.

Dining

From morning breakfast to elegant dinners, Avalon Waterways frees your taste buds from the ordinary. Using the freshest local ingredients, our talented chefs prepare mouth-watering recipes from the region through which you’re travelling and present them in a variety of inspiring settings accompanied with world class wines and beers with lunch & dinner. Our FlexDining℠ approach to onboard dining dispenses with strict seating times and limited restaurant options. Choose the onboard dining venue that suits your mood – from a breezy al fresco lunch at the Sky Grill, to an elegant four-course dinner in the glass-walled dining room. Wherever you choose, you’re guaranteed endless views from every vantage point with expansive windows throughout. For those feeling adventurous, why not grab a picnic lunch prepared by our chefs and find yourself a lovely park or viewpoint to enjoy your meal while admiring the local surroundings.

Accommodation

From the moment you step aboard our modern, award-winning cruise fleet, our passion for detail redefines relaxed luxury.

We’ve mastered the art of blending luxury with comfort, and now – blurring the line between outside and in. Not only are our Panorama Suites℠ on our Suite Ships℠ 30% larger than the industry standard staterooms, our wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows open wider than any other, creating river cruising’s only Open-Air Balcony℠ and an open invitation to discover and dream. And speaking of dreaming in our Panorama Suites℠, we’ve turned our beds to face the window, giving you a bed with a view for the sweetest visions ever. Even if you’re a seasoned traveller, you’ve never seen the world like this.

Entertainment

Regional wines and beer with lunch and dinner, on-board enrichment activities, onshore excursions with Local Guides, special on-board entertainment and even a customised mobile app loaded with navigation and suggestions to fuel your free time. An exclusive experience features all the right inclusions, yet still leaves room for personalisation – like our FlexDining℠ options to give you the freedom to choose when and where you dine on-board.

In addition to little luxuries like complimentary Wifi and around-the-clock cappuccinos, Avalon Waterways gives you the greatest luxury of all – the freedom to customise your cruise with endless options and innovative tools.

Highlights

Avalon Waterways has designed included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the included tours, adventures and events that interest you most, so you can enjoy your cruise your way.

Classic

A local expert will guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations and the “must-see” sites.

Discovery

Spend your day immersing yourself in the destination’s unique culture with inspiring and interactive hands-on activities that are designed to speak to your interests.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions keeping you in motion and on-the-go – from a guided jogging tour, to biking, paddling and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Our selection of optional excursions allows you to personalise your experience to suit your individual interests, passions and style. Or, enjoy plenty of free-time opportunities for independent adventures. We are there to help with suggestions, and our exclusive AvalonGO mobile app brings it all to life.

CALL TO ACTION: CALL 1300 230 234
Visit avalonwaterways.com.au or see your local travel agent

Teeming River Cruises is an independent family-owned, American owned and operated business. Owners Jeff and Gina Paglialonga started the company in 2017, and the keen cruisers have travelled the world on both ocean and river vessels. After being converted, they noticed a need in the market for a more affordable, flexible and active holiday on the river. They also wanted more immersion and more hands-on experiences in the local culture of the destinations they visited. And most of all, they wanted cruises that offered more for less, for the active cruiser in mind. And thus, they founded Teeming River Cruises. The ethos – teeming affordability, flexibility, individual preferences, active options with extending port time into a fabulous river cruise. Teeming goal is to make European river cruising more affordable. While there are some flash ships in the market, Teeming offers comfortable vessels, but their focus is on the itinerary. The line wants you to experience things for yourself and has a free and easy attitude so guests can explore, shop, sightsee or dine at their own leisure. TeemingRC charters ships from major lines like Avalon Waterways, Ecellence and Monarch.

Dining

For 2019, all of TeemingRC’s cruises feature the excellent chefs from River Advice. It is the leading independent manager of river passenger ships worldwide and TeemingRC has a team of Michelin-trained chefs that prepare regionally inspired cuisine, at five star quality. For example, dining on the Royal Crown is impeccable, where guests feast on regionally prepared dishes on white-linen tables with meticulously selected wines. Most meals offer meat, fish and vegetarian dishes and breakfast and lunch are buffets with cook to order menus as well. On the Royal Crown, you can even sit for High Tea in the art deco dining room as you sail past the European country site.

Accommodation

Aboard the Royale Crown, an intimate ship which only has 46 cabins, you’ll find five-star surrounds. There are six outside cabins which are on the Panorama Deck, six Premium cabins which have two portholes and face the outside, and 35 Delux cabins which are also outside cabins on the lower decks. Each spacious stateroom provides a comfortable retreat with the finest linens to sink into after a full day of exploring. Each has a fully equipped bathroom with a shower, bath & body products, magnifying mirror, hairdryer, plush bathrobes, and spacious built-in closets. Furthermore, a safe deposit box, individual thermostat for air conditioning and heating, flat-screen TV with satellite and minibar are at your disposal. TeemingRC also has the modern, all-suite, 172-passenger Royal Emerald which was formerly the Scenic Emerald.

Entertainment

TeemingRC has taken a modern approach to its entertainment offerings. Guests won’t find Opera singers, ballerinas or quartets, but something for the active cruiser. TeemingRC are the line of the RocknRoll generation and some of the lines’ past speakers and entertainers include;

  • Brian Smith, UGG Brand Founder
    • Author of Birth of a Brand
  • John McEuen, Multi-Grammy-winning artist & Founding Member, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • John Cable, Former Member, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Mike Yager, “Mr. Corvette” and founder of Mid American Motorworks, a worldwide Corvette Parts and Acessories business.
  • Aden the Brit, British Comedian
  • Tom DiPace, the United States leading Sports Photographer with hundreds of covers including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, People, The Sporting News and many more.

TeemingRC’s director Kate Barella will keep you entertained, informed and in stitches during every announcement and presentation.

Highlights

TeemingRC’s ethos of Explore More for Less means that you are the master of your holiday. The line encourages you to explore amazing European destinations, on your own accord. Some of the ways we assist our guests in their own discovery.

  • Port Talks on every stop- we call them Port Powerpoints. We tell you what others wont!
    • What to see and do.
    • How to get there.
    • Prices of entry. (you may willing to pay 5€ for the museum, but maybe not 20€!)
  • All TeemingRC cruises include our City Walking Tour App.
    • This innovative app is a first class guide for all the ports we visit. Along with detailed information such as opening/closing times of sites and entry prices; this app is an online map (with no roaming costs) and allows for off-line navigation between the points of interest and a “get me home” button for finding your way back to the ship. With Teeming River Cruises, you can explore on your own and at your own pace.
    • Includes with the App
      • Historical Sites
      • Museums and Churches
      • Attractions
      • Special Points of Interest

Facts

Royal Crown

Cabins: 45

Dining options: Featuring our Chef Bobo!

Entertainment: Nighlty Live Music in the Lounge (check each cruise for a special guest entertainer or speaker)

Special features: Small Ship cruising at its best.

Royal Emerald

Cabins: 72

Dining options:

Entertainment: Nighlty Live Music in the Lounge (check each cruise for a special guest entertainer or speaker)

Special features: Large Suites on all upper decks including a real balcony with glass operable windows.

See our website to see complete information and tons of photos of our ships!

The American Queen Steamboat Company showcases the unique American spirit from a time where steamboats were an essential part of living for the remote deep south. The iconic Paddle Wheelers have now developed into a gracious and romantic way to travel on American Rivers dripping in Victorian elegance known as ‘Steamboat Gothic’.

The American Queen, the largest and most opulent steamboat of the fleet, and the American Empress, are decked out in regal Victorian interiors with antique furnishings, rich upholstery, polished wood and ornate chandeliers, which take you back to relive the grandeur and old world charm of Mark Twain’s Mississippi River, while not sacrificing modern conveniences. The American Duchess with the traditional ‘wedding cake’ exterior is the modern and contemporary alternative that offers spacious interiors and loft-style cabins.

American Queen and American Duchess and our newest ship the American Countess launching 2020, cruise the upper and lower Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers on 5 – 22 night sailings and can include stops at New Orleans, Memphis, St Louis, St Paul, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, and Tennessee among other destinations.

The American Empress follows explorers Lewis and Clark on their journey through the pristine beauty of the Colombia and Snake Rivers in the countries Pacific Northwest. Here you will see an abundance of awe-inspiring natural beauty that will leave you breathless and visit the areas of Colombia Gorge, Cascade Mountains, Multnomah Falls, Hell’s Canyon and Mount St Helens.

Set sail with the American Queen Steamboat Company and join them on an enriching voyage of discovery which reveals the kaleidoscope of big cities and small towns showcasing the best of American ingenuity and courage.

Dining

Inspired by American’s heartland, The American Queen Steamboat Company features southern heritage and Pacific Northwest inspired menus with varied cultural and culinary influences from the nation. You will quickly discover that dining onboard one of the ships is an elevated, epicurean affair that pleases the palate and warms the soul. The award winning team on board takes full advantage of each region’s diverse bounty of fresh local ingredients to serve authentic dishes by the gracious and charming staff on board. Each grand vessel boats a magnificent main dining room, as well as a casual alternative where you can choose to dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Each day of your cruise presents culinary enlightenment and food so delicious you will yearn for the next meal. You will also receive complimentary wine and beer with your tantalizing mouth-watering multi-course dinner.

Accommodation

The most luxurious staterooms are the suites, often nestled in the best location on the ship with sprawling views of the river. The Suites will have you feeling like one of the wealthiest and most successful steamboat owners of yesteryear. Open the sliding door from either your bedroom or lounge, and step onto your private balcony to unwind and take in the beauty of the riverside. The suites have lavish furnishings while boasting every essential modern amenity you could need for your stay. Keep a look out for the suites that have our exclusive Commodore Services on board which include pre-boarding privileges, preferred dining room seating, reserve seating in the show lounge and the services of the River Butler.

Open the French doors, settle into your sitting area and greet the day as the river slips majestically by. Relish in the unique opportunity to enjoy a social atmosphere with the Open Veranda Staterooms, where you can swap stories with your neighbors and form lasting friendships.

For the budget conscious traveler, the Inside and Outside staterooms offer wonderful period details with modern conveniences where you can cozy up and feel at home on the river. The Outside staterooms feature an expansive bay window which overlooks the ever-changing scenery of Americas Heartland.

Entertainment

Mississippi river cruises have been an unwavering source of inspiration for all styles of music and storytelling. Each day and evening lends the opportunity to delve into the dramatic history and musical influences of the regions in which The American Steamboat Company travels, creating an onboard experience that pieces the realm of extraordinary and transcends into something beyond measure.

You will be enthralled with the distinctive blend of live music, stellar Broadway-style shows, big screen movie events, and distinguished historical lectures. Whether it is a themed voyage steeped in the sounds of Nashville’s legendary country music scene, the invigorating jazz of New Orleans, a rousing medley of Silver Screen movie hit songs or an enlightening lecture conveyed by our esteemed Riverlorians, you are treated to a world-class riverboat entertainment experience in an atmosphere of sheer warmth and elegance.

Highlights

From all perspectives, The American Queen Steamboat company’s vessels are testimonies to the floating palaces of long ago and a culmination of their finest qualities. In every sense of the word, you will discover a blend of every bold paddle wheeler innovation along with pristine, authentic design. Each vessel boasts an inclusive range of fine amenities, educational enrichment, and hospitable services to deliver a uniquely American experience for a truly rich river cruise vacation.

The main attractions on any American Queen Steamboat Company cruise is the award-winning shore excursions. Shore excursions, both included and premium, are thoughtfully designed to optimize the guest experience by providing plenty of activity and endless enjoyment. Our own dedicated fleet of deluxe motor coaches with talented drivers and shore excursion staff are waiting to assist you at the vessels dock in each port of call.

Regardless of which vessel you choose, you will enjoy hassle-free access to some of the most historical and culturally significant attractions in American

So jump onboard The American Queen Steamboat Company, inhale the sweet fragrance of magnolia blossoms, relax in a rocking chair with a glass of sweet team and watch the essence of the south unfold around you.

Facts

AMERICAN QUEEN

Cruising the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers.

YEAR BUILT/REFURB: .......1995 / 2017

LENGTH: .......................................420FT

PASSENGER DECKS: ..........................6

SUITES AND STATEROOMS: ..........213

PASSENGERS: .................................414

CREW: ...............................................172

3 RESTAURANTS - Traditional & Casual Dining

SPA TREATMENTS

GYM AND POOL AREA

5 LOUNGES & BARS

AMERICAN DUCHESS:

Cruising the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee & Cumberland River

YEAR BUILT/REFURB: .......1995 / 2017

LENGTH: .......................................340FT

PASSENGER DECKS: ..........................4

SUITES AND STATEROOMS: ............83

PASSENGERS: .................................166

CREW: .................................................80

3 RESTAURANTS - Open Dining

FITNESS CENTRE

2 LOUNGES & BAR

AMERICAN COUNTESS

Cruising the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee & Cumberland River

YEAR BULTI/REFURB:…………………..1995/2020 Launch

LENGTH:……………………………………..361FT

PASSENGER DECKS………………………5

STATEROOMS………………………………123

PASSENGERS…………………………………245

CREW…………………………………………….98

2 RESTAURANTS

FITNESS CENTRE

AMERICAN EMPRESS:

Cruising the Pacific Northwest, Columbia & Snake Rivers.

YEAR BUILT/REFURB: .......2003 / 2014

LENGTH: .......................................360FT

PASSENGER DECKS: ..........................4

SUITES AND STATEROOMS: ..........112

PASSENGERS: .................................223

CREW: .................................................83

2 RESTAURANTS - Semi-Traditional Casual Dining

2 LOUNGES & BARS

Ocean Cruising

Sailing the high seas opens up a whole world of destinations and possibilities, aboard either the biggest ocean-going vessels or exquisite boutique lines.

Over 1.34 million Australians cruised in 2017, a figure that’s a real testament of the strength of the cruising industry. There is something for everyone – whether you love the action and excitement of the facilities and activities onboard the big ships like Carnival Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean; the small ship intimate atmosphere aboard Cruise & Maritime Voyages; the technologically advanced ships from Celebrity Cruises; the luxurious surroundings as well as champagne and caviar on tap from Crystal Cruises or the adventure lines like Aranui, Katarina and Ponant which take you to intrepid places.

So what is the attraction of ocean cruising? Well to simply put it, it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s great value for money and you only unpack once while you exploring the world.

Onboard meals, entertainment and activities are included in your cruise fare and there are no transport costs. You will generally find drinks cost extra, but some lines cover beverages for the voyage and many offer drinks packages. Many affordable lines have cruises starting from as little as $100 per person per day.

The cruise industry also loves a deal, so you can take advantage of cabin upgrades or onboard spending money. Even luxury lines, which have a much higher base-cost, are great value because the fare includes just about everything, such as alcohol, gratuities and shore excursions.

Cruising can also take you all around the world – from the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand, the warm waters of the Mediterranean, the bustling cities of Asia, the glacier and wildlife filled Alaska and even the far reaches of the Arctic and Antarctica.

And ocean ships usually offer a whole bevvy of options. Here are some of the wonderful destinations you can cruise to on your ocean ship.

alaska

Alaska is the largest and most sparsely populated state in the United States. Its wilderness and abundant wildlife makes it a popular destination for skiing, mountain biking and kayaking.

Bordered by stunning mountain ranges with dense forest to the shoreline and calm, deep waterways, the Inside Passage is a 1,500-kilometre sheltered waterway used since early times by mariners trying to avoid the rough seas of the Pacific Northwest.

The passage was originally explored by early navigators such as James Cook. Alaska’s portion encompasses more than 1,000 islands, 24,000 kilometres of shoreline and thousands of coves and bays, and Canada’s British Columbia share is of similar extent.

During the northern summer, the sea traffic through the passage gets pretty hectic with numerous cruise ships loafing around the tranquil waters at places such as Glacier Bay, soaking up the crisp air and eye-popping scenery. The big ships will stop occasionally at villages and towns such as Ketchikan where the enterprising locals are eager to embrace the 2,000 or more cashed-up tourists and crew.

For a much more intimate exploration of the glorious waters of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, expedition and adventure cruise from the likes of Lindblad National Geographic Expeditions, UnCruise and Alaskan Dream Cruises are an attractive option. Excursions by Zodiac allow a dozen or so passengers and a guide to investigate wildlife sightings, birds, plants and geographic features at leisure.

Expedition vessels typically carry fewer than 50 passengers into some of the most remote and secluded nooks and crannies along the passage where you can get up close (but not too close) to calving glaciers while escorted by pods of humpbacks, orcas and inquisitive seals.

 

Ports

Anchorage (Whittier)

Anchorage

The largest city in Alaska has cool pubs (check out 49th State Brewing), restaurants, shopping haunts as well as cultural and historic museums including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage Museum and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Best for: Museum fans, shoppers and cafe crawlers.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises.

 

Juneau

Juneau

A former gold-rush town, Alaska’s capital can only be reached by air or sea. Activities include whale-watching and zip-lining, city touring, visits to the Alaskan Brewing Co and glorious walking trails. Take the Glacier Shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier just out of town.

Best for: Nature lovers and walkers.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Lindblad Expeditions, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

 

Ketchikan

Ketchikan

With a genuine frontier-town feel and title of "Salmon Capital of the World", Ketchikan is one of the most popular Alaskan ports. Wander Creek Street with its historic wooden buildings and shopping strip and explore the surrounding Tongass National Forest.

Best for: Nature lovers and walkers.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

 

Seward

Seward

This busy little port town with its fun, old-looking shopping strip is a cool base to explore, kayak or hike around the Kenai Fjords National Park. Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward Brewing Company and take a dog sled tour.

Best for: Fishing and nature lovers.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Skagway

Skagway

This is the end of the line for most Inside Passage cruises. Take a stroll to the little museums and tourist shops and don't miss the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center and the historic Red Onion Saloon.

Best for: Wanderers and window shoppers.

Who goes there: APT, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

canada

Like Alaska, Canada has amazing wildlife and nature, which makes it a paradise for cruisers. Some of the highlights include the lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains which boasts spectacular hiking trails and crystal clear swimming holes. In Banff National Park, you’ll also find grizzle and black bears as well as cougars, Canadian lynx, wolverines, red foxes, river otters and much more. In winter, there is also great snow conditions for skiing and snowboarding at Lake Louise.

If you’re looking to the cities, Vancouver is the bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia. It’s one of the most ethnically diverse cities. It’s a popular filming location so you’ll see some big name celebrities walking around. It also has a thriving art, theatre and music scene. The Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its collection from regional artists. Vancouver has a huge Asian population and boasts some of the best Chinese food in the world. Visit the city’s Dynasty Seafood and Richmond’s Hoi Tong restaurants for yum cha and seafood.

Another major city to visit is Toronto which is right along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. Visit the iconic CN Tower where you can have a meal at the revolving restaurant and take sight of the city below you. For the sports fans, catch a baseball game at the Rogers Centre which is home to the Toronto Blue Jays. If you’re keen for some shopping, the Toronto Eaton Centre has a huge array of shops, clothiers and restaurants in this historic mall with a glass ceiling.

Canada’s eastern provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are still largely unexplored by Aussie cruisers, so if you are looking for new seas to sail, there are fertile waters around the historic and stately capitals of Montreal and Quebec City via the St Lawrence Seaway. Line such as Holland America and Seabourn will take you right into the heart of Montreal and continue around to Boston via Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Or, if you prefer, explore the scenic countryside all the way to the remote territories by small ship as far as the icy wonderland of Greenland through Baffin Bay.

 

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Montreal

Follow the boardwalk along the shoreline full of shops and restaurants from Peake’s Quay to Victoria Park and be sure to sample the seafood, including Malpeque Bay oysters. Fans of Anne of Green Gables will love exploring the setting for the books, including Green Gables House in Cavendish.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

 

Montreal

Montreal

This multicultural city has French and British colonial roots. Stroll to museums, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, galleries, shopping precincts (including the "underground city" shopping tunnels), and enjoy quirky dining opportunities, especially nearby the cruise terminal.

Best for: Culture lovers and foodies.

Who goes there: Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea.

 

Quebec City

Quebec City, Canada

The charming 400-year-old French-flavoured city is exceptionally visitor-friendly, easy to navigate on foot and abundant in culture, art and delightful sidewalk dining options. It has the distinction of being the only walled city in the US and Canada.

Best for: Culture, art and history buffs and Francophiles.

Who goes there: Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

 

Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

A favourite with Aussie visitors, Vancouver has a busy waterfront, bustling downtown precinct and numerous museums, many catering to kids. Don't miss Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island, Stanley Park, Vancouver Museum, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Grouse Mountain Skyride and Wildlife Refuge.

Best for: Families, shoppers and art lovers.

Who goes there: APT, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

north america

Time Square, New York City

The region is one of the biggest cruise destinations in the world with ships sailing to and from the west and the east coasts. From the iconic transatlantic sailing on board Queen Mary 2 to a Hawaiian cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, there is wide range of itineraries. In California, cruise lines sail out of Los Angeles to destinations in Mexico and Central America. On the southeast coast, Fort Lauderdale and Miami are home to the world’s largest cruise ships with dedicated cruise terminals for Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Disney Cruise line. Ships sail from here to Central America and the Caribbean and popular ports in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos.

 

WEST COAST

Ports

Hawaii

Hawaii

There are a number of ports cruisers can visit in Hawaii. Many cruise lines visit the relaxing islands and it’s popular for adventure sports like horse riding and ziplining. Lush rainforests surround extinct and dormant volcanoes and the beaches are popular with long-board surfers. Hawaii also has lovely resorts and hotels and is known for its great shopping. There are plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied – from beach and water sports to outdoor activities like hiking. The iconic cruise to take in Hawaii is on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America. Cruisers will visit ports like Hilo, Maui and Honolulu.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn.

 

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Home to the rich and famous, the City of Angels is a tourist hotspot. The warm and temperate climate makes it a lovely place to holiday. Some of the highlights of the city include the Santa Monica Pier which is busy with food stalls, games arcades and shops. Just down the coast, Venice Beach attracts oddballs and fitness fanatics and also has arty shops and galleries. The kids will have a blast at Disneyland in Anaheim or if they’re more into sports, take them to the Staples Center for a NBA game. For those who love a bit of luxury shopping, hit the famous Rodeo Drive for big brand names from Saint Laurent to Chanel. If you want to have a drink like a rockstar, visit the Chateau Marmont, the famous Hollywood hotel where actor James Belushi died.

Best for: Everyone

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Viking Ocean.

 

San Diego

San Diego

This lovely Southern California city is famous for its zoo, home to some of the world’s rarest species of animals including giant pandas, as well as koalas. But if you’re not into zoos, the city’s Gaslamp Quarter is a premier shopping, dining and entertainment district where you will find an eclectic mix of food, fun and culture. Because of its deep harbour, San Diego also has a rich naval history and visitors can see some beautiful historic ships.

Best for: History buffs, families and animal lovers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea.

 

San Francisco

San Francisco

The cosmopolitan city of San Francisco is known for its lovely climate (despite the fog), hilly streetscapes and authentic Chinese food. The West Coast city is also famous for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge (which many cruisers will see when sailing into this port), as well as cable cars and colourful Victorian houses. For a spot of shopping, American department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are just in Union Square. Or if you’re a seafood lover, head to Pier 39 where you can find bowls of New England and Manhattan Chowder, a seafood stew – warming and delicious especially if you’re cruising there in winter.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Seattle

The rainy city of Seattle is a popular port for cruising to Canada and Alaska. The city is known for its iconic Space Needle which gives 360-degree views. The Pike Place Market is one of the most well-known farmer’s markets in the world with more than 200 businesses operating year-round. You’ll find every kind of flower, fresh fish, French pastries, handmade cheeses and some unique antiques. If you enjoy history, take the Underground Tour of the city. Much of Seattle was destroyed during the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and the city was rebuilt over the top of the ruins. The tour will take you underground to see original shopfronts and roads.

Best for: Nature lovers and couples.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

EAST COAST

Ports

Boston

Seattle

It’s one of the historical cities in the United States and Boston has a rich history, filled with museums accessible by foot. The Freedom Trail passes 16 sites of the most famous sites from early US history including the Boston Public Garden, Louisburg Square mansions and Fenway Park. Boston also has amazing museums and galleries like the Museum of Fine Art which is known for its impressionist works and antiquities. Visit the Quincy Market which has been transformed into a mall. You’ll find street performers and one of the best food courts in the world. It also still sells more lobster items than anywhere else in the world – including candy lobsters.

Best for: History buffs and couples.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises, Viking Oceans.

 

Charleston

Charleston

Located in South Carolina, Charleston is a charming city with buildings dating back to pre-Civil War. Visit the Charleston Museum, which is regarded as America’s first museum. The collection focuses on natural history, American culture and history and more. Also visit the Joseph Manigault House, a historic landmark in Charleston. If you’re after something out of the ordinary, you can take a ghost tour of Charleston.

Best for: History buffs.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

It’s one of the biggest cruise hubs in the world and Fort Lauderdale is home to some of the biggest cruise names. If you’re looking for things to do pre or post cruise, Fort Lauderdale is known for its golden sand beaches and waterways. Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s chic Las Olas is lined with fashion boutiques, art galleries and hip cafes. For shopping, visit the Swap Shop Circus where you can find some brand named goods at bargain prices.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

New York

New York

Bright lights, big city – New York is one hell of a town! It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting cities in the world and there is something for everyone. It’s home to iconic sites like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Empire State Building. Take a stroll around Central Park, give your credit card a workout on 5th Avenue or grab a meal in Chinatown or Little Italy. Visit the American Museum of Natural History where you’ll see a mammoth and dinosaurs. You’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world in this city – both high-end and affordable. And for those who love entertainment and sport, you can catch an NBA or baseball game or a show on Broadway.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

central america mexico

Central America is the original luxury destination with countries such as Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Cuba offering wonderful wildlife as well as unique cultural experiences. It’s convenient for both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The region is fringed by pristine beaches – cruisers will see white sand and crystal clear blue waters. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise with shore excursions including visits to the rainforests of Nicaragua, the volcanic lakes of Guatemala as well as scuba diving and snorkelling the coral reefs of Belize.

The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest barrier reef in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is a 300 kilometre stretch of unbroken reef. Snorkelers and scuba divers will see rainbow coral, tropical fish, turtles, eels, stingrays as well as sharks.

For the culture buffs, Central America and neighbouring Mexico are rich with Mayan history – the Chichen Itza is one of the most famous sites in Mexico. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, the Temple of Kukulcan dominates the ancient city. Another highlight in Mexico Ilk Kil Cenote, a deep swimming hole which the Mayans considered sacred. The ancient civilisation used the site for human sacrifices to the rain god, Chaac.

 

Belize

Belize

With shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west, Belize is one of the most diverse countries in Central America. It is home to the second largest reef system in the world where cruisers who love to snorkel or scuba dive can see tropical fish, stingrays, turtles and sharks. In the jungle areas of Belize, you’ll see Mayan ruins including Caracol which is known for its towering pyramid. Also check out the Great Blue Hole which is a giant submarine sinkhole which is 318 metres across and 124 metres deep.

 

Ports

Belize City

Belize is famous for its natural wonders, including the second longest barrier in the world. For snorkelers and scuba divers, it’s a paradise with lots of marine life to see. It’s also rich with lush tropical rainforests where visitors will see many local birds as well as exotic tropical fauna and flora. In the city, visit the Belize Zoo which displays over 170 animals. In Belize, the seafood is fantastic – try the red snapper or grouper.

Best for: History lovers and nature buffs.

Who goes there: AIDA, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a rugged rainforested country with coastlines facing both the Caribbean and Pacific. It’s known for its stunning beaches and array of volcanoes. Roughly a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle where cruisers can see wildlife such as spider monkeys as well as quetzal birds. One of the most famous sites is the Poas Volcano which is still active. It has erupted 40 times since 1928, with the last eruption in April 2017.

 

Ports

Puerto Limon

This city has some fascinating architecture and colourful open air markets. It’s a bit run down from the battering of numerous earthquakes but it’s one of the best places to visit to buy traditional souvenirs like wood carvings. Puerto Limon’s main attraction is the Paques Vargas, the main strip in the city which is lined with park benches and towering palms and tropical flowers.

Best for: Couples and nature buffs.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Viking Oceans.

 

Puntarenas

The port of Puntarenas has been a popular cruise destination for many lines as it serves as the main port to reach the smaller islands of Costa Rica. Some of the highlights of this island include a canopy tour of the rain forest. Around 8 kilometres from Puntarenas is Playa San Isidro which is the first real beach of the central Pacific Coast. If you’re a surfer, there are some great beaches with awesome swells like Boca Barranca.

Best for: Families, nature buffs and active cruisers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

 

Cuba

Cuba

Cruise to Cuba have increased exponentially since the regulations have been lifted on sailings from America. Now, smaller cruise lines such as Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Oceania Cruises are sailing from Florida to ports like Santiago de Cuba and Havana. Cuba is famous for its sugar-white beaches as well as its tobacco fields which produce some of the world’s finest cigars. Known for its communist rule, visitors will see cars from the 1950s and colourful buildings lining the streets of Havana.

 

Ports

Havana

The world’s fascination with Cuba revolves around Havana which has some amazing architecture, preserved from life in the 1950s. Old Havana has cobbled plazas, castles, cathedrals and classical mansions which date to the heyday of the Spanish rule in the city. It’s a great city for exploration and is predominantly flat. Beyond the old city, discover the 20th century enclave of Vedado, which has hotels and nightclubs that look like they are straight from the 50s.

Best for: History buffs

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Holland American Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean.

 

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba

The city played a pivotal role in the overthrowing of the Batista regime. The vibrant city is filled with buskers playing local music on every corner. Unlike other cities in Cuba, Santiago de Cuba has a distinct Caribbean flair from the influence of French planters and Haitians who settled in the last century. The city is home to some of Cuba’s oldest palaces and museums including the Casa de Diego Valazquez. For authentic cigars, visit the Casa de Habano where you can get some fine tobacco products.

Best for: History buffs

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Viking Oceans

 

El Salvador

El Salvador

This small Central American nation is known for its great surf beaches and mountainous landscape. Here, cruisers will also find lovely coffee farms, rainforest as well as waterfalls. The capital of San Salvador is set against the dramatic backdrop of volcanoes and has beautiful churches and fascinating Spanish architecture. Nearby, Lake Ilopango sit in the crater of the volcano that devastated Mayan cities around 410 and 535 AD.

 

Ports

Acajutia

This beautiful and friendly down is a popular destination for travellers. While it’s not a major cruise port, there are still some big name lines which visit Acajutia. Los Cabanos Beach is the most popular beach in the town and is abundant with health reefs. It’s a famous diving spot and if you visit in summer, you can see some pros dive from 20 to 30 metre platforms. If you love fishing, it’s also a great place for open sea fishing.

Best for: Nature lovers

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

 

Mexico

Mexico

Located between the United States of America and Central America, Mexico has diverse landscapes of mountains, deserts and jungles. The country has some of the best preserved Mayan ruins including the ancient city of Chichen Itza. Cruisers will also find Spanish colonial-era towns and, in Mexico City, you’ll see some amazing museums and gourmet restaurants. Major cruise lines sail from ports like San Francisco and Los Angeles on the West Coast of the USA and its friendly locals, subtropical climate and currency exchange made it the most popular cruise destination in 2017.

 

Cabo San Lucas

Ships that arrive in Cabo San Lucas anchor offshore and tender passengers to the marina. The town is located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula as is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the country. It has great weather, fantastic scenery and is a getaway location for the rich and famous. You’ll find lots of high-end hotels, exciting nightlife and lovely resort style restaurants. It’s a popular destination for water sport lovers.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Viking Oceans.

 

Cozumel

Cozumel is famous for its underwater sports. While there are quite a few beach clubs that offer to snorkel, the main attractions are the reefs offshore. The east side of the island is underdeveloped so cruisers will find pristine beach clubs that take you there. You might even find small blow holes and there will be a restaurant on the beach every few kilometres. It’s a great place for surfers as you’ll be able to find some beaches with big waves. Some of the nearby attractions include the Chankanaab National Park which has lovely walking trails where you will see iguanas. Visitors will also be able to see dolphins.

Best for: Nature lovers

Who goes there: Aida Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Puerto Vallarta

It’s one of the most luxurious holiday sports in Mexico where cruisers will see a fusion between Mexican culture. Guests can see everything from bullfights to some of the finest resorts in the world. There is art and music around the entire city with live concerts often held by the beach. If you’re after something a little but more adventurous, you can try your hand at spearfishing. For those who love a drink, visit the town of Tequila which is a short drive away. You’ll see how farmers make the potent brew and see agave plant farms.

Best for: Everyone

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

carribean

The Caribbean is the world’s most popular destination for cruisers, fuelled by the huge number of Americans sailing out of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, one of the world’s biggest ports. All the major lines including Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Cunard frequent the tropical waters.

There are 7,000 islands to choose from, with blue seas, sandy beaches and luscious green forests. Many of the islands were either colonised by the British, French or Dutch and their influences still remain, along with Victorian town squares and cathedrals.

From bustling Barbados to pulsating Jamaica and St Maarten, the Caribbean is an explosion of colours mixed with the heady smell of rum and calypso music.

Trinidad is a natural aviary where you can watch the bearded bellbird or the scarlet ibis, Trinidad’s national bird. In the capital, Port of Spain, you’ll be greeted by locals dancing in dazzling carnival costumes, singing calypso or playing the steel pan. The town is known for its colour festivals and is a cultural melting pot featuring African, European, Indian and Asian influences.

If you’re seeking white sandy beaches, there are plenty on the beautiful island. You’ll also find casual and elegant dining in friendly local restaurants, and a great assortment of activities and events.

Barbados is a popular cruise destination. It’s capital, Bridgetown, is a British colonial town, famous for its tea and cricket matches. On the island’s west coast, coral beaches of fine white sand, fringed by coral reefs that provide excellent snorkelling and diving. For surfers, the east coast is great place to catch waves.

In Bermuda, ships less than 700 feet long can dock in St George’s Harbor. St George’s is a UNESCO Heritage Site and boasts small winding streets, cobbled streets and plazas. Some of the highlights include the Bermuda Heritage Museum, which showcases the history of the American and British fleets. Also see the Crystal and Fantasy Caves.

And if you are a fan of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, have a martini at the Goldeneye Resort in Orcabessa, Jamaica where Fleming lived and wrote several of his spy novels.

Though it was hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, a massive effort has meant most areas are now open for business. The Caribbean’s peak season is October to April.

So what’s the typical itinerary? Mot Eastern Caribbean cruises leave Miami, Ford Lauderdale or Cape Canaveral and include Nassau in the Bahamas and Jamaica. The Caribbean includes many private islands including Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean), Half Moon Cay (Holland America, Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line), Castaway Cay (Disney Cruise Line) and Princess Cays (Princess Cruises).

The French West Indies (Martinique, Guiadalupe and St Barth’s) are included in the Southern Caribbean route, which also takes in St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, Curacao, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St Kiss/Nevis.

 

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua

Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda was named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 in honour of Spain’s Virgin of La Antigua, whereas Barbuda means ‘bearded’ in Spanish and was named after wild fig trees found in the region which have a beard like appearance. Antigua is known for its coastline, white sand beaches, rainforests, sugarcane fields and plantations and villages; whereas Barbuda is famous for diving expeditions and the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, inhabited by nearly 5000 frigate birds. St John’s is the capital and largest port city, visited by leading cruise lines like Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and amongst others. Antigua has many luxury resort ideal for families and couples, like Verandah Resort & Spa, Nonsuch Bay Resort, Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Cocobay Resort amongst others.

 

Ports

St. John’s

Visit Betty’s Hope, a 17th century sugar plantation during colonial times that employed African slaves. It now has a small museum with old pictures and maps. Barbuda’s Frigate Bird Sanctuary, with over 170 bird species and 5000 frigate sea birds. The Low Bay island in Barbuda is also a must visit for its pink sand beach.

Best for: Families, couples and nature lovers

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Windstar Cruises

 

Aruba

An island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, Aruba is just 30 kilometres off the northern coast of Venezuela. Aruba is part of Dutch Caribbean along with Curacao, Saint Maarten, and Bonaire. Unlike its other sister Caribbean countries, Aruba’s dry climate with no rainy season makes it a favourite amongst travellers. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Caribbean Sea on the other, Aruba has a unique landscape of cacti, trees and windmills.

 

Ports

Oranjestad

Local Aruban handicraft shopping like candles, artworks at the Royal Plaza Mall. Baby Beach is popular amongst families and beginners in snorkelling. Malmok Beach is another location frequented by snorkellers to spot colourful fish and swimming; the diving site Antilla is not very far from Malmok Beach. Crystal Casino and the Seaport Casino near the cruise port are the places to experience Aruba’s nightlife.

Best for: Families, couples and nature lovers

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Windstar Cruises

 

Bahamas

The Bahamas is an archipelago of nearly 700 islands and over 2,000 coral reefs. It’s one of the most visited Caribbean countries with many cruise lines visiting from Florida. The vast coastline offers plenty of beach activities, water sports like parasailing, jet-skiing, and diving; hiking, shopping at flea markets and small boutiques. The rich history of the Bahamas reflects in its Victorian building and Lucayan National Park that boasts of an ancient underwater cave system. Nassau is also where you will find casinos and the glitzy night life. Travellers will love sampling the fresh sea food mainly red snapper, lobster and the local favourite, conch.

 

Ports

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

The largest port in the Bahamas, Nassau attracts about three million cruisers a year. Most ships dock at Prince George Wharf, adjacent to downtown Nassau. The wharf can accommodate seven ships at the same time. Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island is one of the world’s famous casino resorts.

Best for: Families and couples

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

 

Freeport, Bahamas

One of the highlights is Lucayan National Park with ancient underwater caves, nature trails near Gold Rock beach, rare marine life near Ben’s Cave and Burial Mound Cave. Deadman’s Reef for snorkelling and scuba diving; Garden of the Groves, a 12-acre botanical garden with over 12,000 bird species, swimming with dolphins and colourful markets. Try the Bahamian red pepper sauce which is used in the local cuisine.

Best for: Families

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International

 

Barbados

Barbados

Located on the eastern side of Caribbean, Barbados is in the Atlantic Ocean with sweeping ocean views, sandy beaches besides a vibrant ethnic culture of the Bajun community. With a blend of English and African heritage, there are nearly 11 Anglican Churches in Barbados, and over 90 percent of the population is of African descent. The island way of life, food, history, musical, art influences is what make Barbados an attractive destination in the Caribbean.

 

Ports

Bridgetown

Visit Harrison’s Cove, sugar plantations as well as the town’s botanical gardens. Bridgetown is also a stunning place for snorkelling and swimming with sea turtles. Another worthwhile visit is to the Mount Gay Rum distillery where you can channel your inner Jack Sparrow. The cruise terminal is close to the shopping hub can be explored on foot. Rent a car or taxi to see other tourist spots.

Best for: Everyone

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Holland America Line, P&O Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea

 

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, comprising of four main islands - Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. The main island is Tortola, home to business and trade, also very close to the capital, Road Town. The Virgin Islands were named by Christopher Columbus in 1493, after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgins. The Dutch also established themselves here in 1648 until the English arrived in 1672. White sand beaches and coral reefs are common to British Virgin Islands, besides being home to some islands which are volcanic in origin. Mount Sage is a volcanic peak on the south west of Road Town rising to height of 1,716 feet, and also has a national park known for trekking and hiking.

 

Ports

Tortola

Tortola’s Sage Mountain National Park for hiking and trekking; scuba diving at Rhone National Marine Park that has the ship wreck of HMS Rhone that sank during a hurricane in 1867. Snorkel near the Virgin Gorda where you will see amazing marine wildlife. For local handicrafts, visit the Crafts Alive Market in Road Town to pick up some lovely souvenirs .

Best for: Families and couples

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Windstar Cruises

 

Jamaica

The fourth largest island country in the Caribbean, the natives Arawak tribe called it ‘Xaymaca’ meaning the land of food and water. The name changed after the arrival of Spanish explorers who replaced ‘X’ with a ‘J’. The country was colonised both by Spanish and the British, and gained independence in 1962. Jamaica’s topography ranges from white sand beaches, mountain ranges, valleys, plateaus and over 100 rivers. With nearly 90 percent of population from African descent, Jamaica’s local art and culture is African influenced. Hailed as the birthplace of reggae, Jamaican style of music found international fame, due to the success of its most famous musician and artist Bob Marley; the former residence of Bob Marley is now a museum in the capital city Kingston.

 

Ports

Montego Bay

Duty-free shopping at its best especially in the city shopping precinct. Stroll down bustling Gloucester Avenue with its great shops and restaurants.

Best for: Travellers of all ages.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club.

 

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Visit Ocho Rios beach for its golden sand and crystal clear waters. Behind the beach is the Crafts Market with its colourful stalls selling everything Jamaican.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Princess.

Best for: Fun-loving travellers.

 

St Maarten/St Martin

St Maarten

The island of St Maarten/St Martin was formerly colonised by the Dutch and French. Philipsburg, the capital of St Maarten, and Marigot, the capital of St Martin, are the hotbeds of duty-free shopping (the entire island is duty free). There are great bargains on handbags, men's shoes, alcohol, cosmetics, jewellery, electronics, and cigars. Philipsburg displays its Dutch heritage in its architecture and landscaping. The island also offers endless stretches of beach and beautiful landscapes.

Best for: Curious travellers and shoppers.

Who goers there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea.

 

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

Surrounded by mountain ranges and a stunning coastline, Trinidad and Tobago offer an array of travel highlights, like the historical sites due to its colonised past, diving and snorkelling experiences in the island’s crystal clear waters as well as glittering festivals like Carnival. The festival which is held in February every year, is the country’s largest tourism even where locals dance in parades in dazzling, feathery costumes.

 

Ports

Port of Spain

The Port of Spain is on Trinidad’s northwest coast and is known for its huge Carnival. Some of the highlights of the capital include the National Museum and Art Gallery showcasing Trinidad and Tobago’s history. For those who love birds, visit the Caroni Bird Sanctuary which is home to over 200 species. The Royal Botanica Gardens in the Port of Spain also has some rare trees and plants of the region.

Best for: Nature lovers

Who goes there: Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas

south america

While not a huge cruise destination, the vast South American continent presents myriad possibilities.

The major cruise lines cruising South America are Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Holland America Line with most itineraries focused on the east (Atlantic) coast taking in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Annual repositions of the expedition fleet to and from Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina for the Antarctic cruise season present unusual opportunities for more adventurous travellers with specially crafted itineraries along both western and eastern coasts.

The most popular cruises for big-ship lovers typically sail between the major capitals of Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro with diversions to Sao Paulo and Ilha Grande for the “Brazilian Riviera”. Other ocean lines swing by as part of round-the-world itineraries or on longer itineraries out of the USA. Norwegian Cruise Line navigates the Amazon as far as the deepwater port at Manaus and river cruise operators including Aqua Expeditions and Scenic explore further inland.

South America is best known for small-ship cruises to Antarctica, Galapagos or the Chilean Fjords. The population of Ushuaia swells in the height of summer with the crush of tourists heading to the Antarctic Peninsula. Punta Arenas services cruisers sailing among the Chilean Fjords while north on the equator, Galapagos-bound travellers will fly into one of the two airports on the islands to transfer to their vessels.

 

Argentina

Argentina is one of the largest countries in South America with varying landscapes – whether you’re visiting the northern or the southern region. The country boasts some of the finest beaches, glacial lakes, as well as endless grasslands. Some of the country’s most famous natural wonders include the Iguazu Falls as well as the Perito Moreno Glacier. The Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is rich with Spanish colonial history and is centred around the Plaza de Mayo which is lined with 19th century buildings include the famous Casa Rosada. Ushuaia is at the southernmost tip of South America and is where many cruise lines like Ponant sail from to reach Antartica.

 

Ports

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Most Aussies end up with a day or two in BA on their way to Antarctica. Join an organised tour that takes in the opulent 1908 Teatro Colón, colourful La Boca, the quiet Palermo district and possibly the cemetery in Recoleta and Barrio Norte.

Best for: Culture and history lovers, soccer fans and romantics.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn.

 

Peru

Peru

Peru is home to a section of the Amazon rainforest as well as the stunning ancient Incan city, Machu Picchu which is high in the Andes mountains. Visitors to this country often visit to hike the Inca Trail which leads through the colonial city of Cusco. There are lots of archaeological sites left behind by the Incans. Other natural sites include Lake Titicaca which is a vast lake of sapphire coloured waters as well as the city of Arequipa which is famous for activities like volcano climbing. The Pacific coastal capital, Lima has a colonial centre and has museums which has important collections of pre-Columbian art.

 

Ports

Lima

Expect plenty of Inca and Aztec history with museums and archeological sites within the city. Hang out at fancy restaurants and plush hotels in the swank Miraflores district and wander through the historic town centre.

Best for: History, art and culture buffs.

Who goes there: Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea.

 

Uruguay

Uruguay

The beautiful beach lined country of Uruguay revolves around the capital of Montevideo. The city revolved around Plaza Indpendencia which was once home to a Spanish citadel. The old city has art deco buildings, colonial homes as well as many steakhouses. The waterfront promenade has some amazing fish stalls, piers and parks. For the nature lovers, the Cabo Polonio National Park is inhabited by seas lions, seals and penguins. And if you want to experience some of the Uruguay’s inland landscape, horseback ride and stay in local farmhouses where you can experience the local gaucho lifestyle.

 

Ports

Montevideo

Montevideo has a mix of colonial and modern, art deco and neoclassical architecture thanks to Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and British immigrants. The Museum of Visual Arts, the 90-year-old Palacio Salvo, renovated Teatro Solís and the car museum are all within a walk of each other.

Best for: History and culture buffs.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Brazil

Brazil

The vast South American country of Brazil stretches from the Amazon Basin to the Iguacu Falls. The city of Rio De Janeiro is where you will see Christ the Redeemer as well as the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. If you have some time pre or post cruise, visit Sao Paulo which has lots of culinary institutions including the Museum of Art. The capital of Brasilia is the home of modernist buildings by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. Then head north-east to Bahia which is known for its beaches and dense Amazon rainforest. Try moqueca, a traditional dish which is a coconut milk seafood stew).

 

Ports

Rio de Janeiro

There’s so much to see and do in a city the size of Rio, so try to arrange a spare day or two. From Sugar Loaf Mountain, cross the Tijuca Rain Forest by train, then climb to Christ Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado. On the way, stop by the Sambodromo, where the renowned Samba schools of Rio perform. Time it right for Rio Carnival, held every year before Lent.

Best for: Shoppers and beach bums.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn.

 

Chile

Chile

Stretching more than 6,000km of the Pacific Ocean Coastline, Chile is on the western edge of South America and is also a cruise destination to Antarctica. The capital of Santiago sits in the valley by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains. The city’s palm-lined Plaza de Armas has the neoclassical cathedral as well as the National History Museum. Near Santiago, Valparaiso has lovely beaches and resorts.

 

Ports

Santiago (Valparaiso)

Santiago’s UNESCO-listed ocean port is the gateway to the Andes. Santiago, 90 minutes by road, has a wealth of museums and historic sites and is enjoying an urban culture revival with flash new hotels, restaurants and galleries.

Best for: Culture lovers and history buffs.

Who goes there: Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Seabourn, Silversea.

arctic

While not as popular with Australian cruisers as the great polar continent of Antarctica to our south, the Arctic has plenty of unique appeal for cruisers. Unlike Antarctica which is a continent, the Arctic is defined as the area within the Arctic Circle, including the far north of Europe and North America.

Dramatic landscapes, ice, unique wildlife and indigenous tribes draw visitors during the northern summer months, from May to September. Almost endless daylight offers adventurers plenty of time to experience the diverse landscapes of the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Polar bears may top the wildlife-spotting wish list, but there is plenty of other wildlife to see, including whales, seals, walruses, Arctic foxes, musk oxen, reindeer and numerous birds.

While summer is the time for wildlife spotting and allows access to more of the region, many cruisers choose to sail in the darker months for a chance to see the spectacular natural light show of the Aurora borealis (northern lights). Cruise lines such as Hurtigruten, Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Fred. Olsen offer year-round sailings into the Arctic Circle.

As the Arctic covers a vast area, cruise itineraries can be roughly broken up into three regions: Norway and Spitsbergen; Greenland and Canada; and Svalbard and the North Pole. Itineraries along Norway's coast generally appeal to those seeking a more comfortable or convenient option, while adventure seekers will enjoy more remote sailings. To see polar bears, look at cruises that include Spitsbergen, Greenland or Canada.

You’ll see snow melting off icebergs into waterfalls that feed into the sea as well as calving from Svalbard’s vast glacier fronts and cruise into Greenland’s famous fjords.

Aurora Expeditions also offer calls to Scottish seaports, Norwegian and Icelandic fishing towns as well as visits to Longyearbyen, a lovely fishing town.

Once just for extreme adventurers, the Northwest Passage is opening up to cruise ships, due to the lack of ice in the Arctic in recent seasons. Last year, Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity made the epic voyage through the once impenetrable passage. The luxury ship sailed successfully from Anchorage, Alaska, all way to New York across the top of Canada in 32 days. Both Ponant and Hapag-Lloyd have done this previously and One Ocean Expeditions regularly runs explorations all across the Canadian Arctic, but Serenity is by far the largest passenger vessel to complete the transit. It’s a whole new world for cruising in these normally frozen waters.

Those planning an Arctic cruise will have a number of decisions to make, including what they want see (the Land of the Midnight Sun or the northern lights) and which region most appeals.

Best for: Adventurous cruisers, wildlife enthusiasts and keen photographers.

Who goes there: Abercrombie & Kent, Aurora Expeditions, Chimu Adventures, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen, Hapag-Lloyd, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, Oceanwide Expeditions, One Ocean Expeditions, Ponant, Poseidon Expeditions, Quark Expedition, Silversea.

northern europe

Thousands of Australians flock to Europe to cruise every year. Aside from the iconic port in Southampton, where the majestic Queen Mary 2 sails from on her transatlantic voyage to New York, there are a great number of ports in amazing countries.

While popular cruise destinations include Germany and the Netherlands, the Baltic region, with its diverse itineraries, for both ocean and adventure cruisers, is now on the bucket list for many who take to the sea.

There are some stunning itineraries in Scandinavia where cruisers can visit Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland with ease. The region is fast becoming popular for Australians to visit due to its stunning natural surroundings and lush landscapes as well as rich history.

It’s also where cruisers can see one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world – the northern lights. Many small ship cruise lines offer added tours to see this spectacular light show.

Another highlight is the Norwegian fjords. Here you will be struck by the ice-capped mountain ridges and jagged architecture of its peaks. There are more than 1,000 fjords in Norway with seals and porpoises swimming in the blue saltwater lakes.

Other popular cruise destinations include Russia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and most of the major lines offer fabulous itineraries, be it on megaliner or a smaller luxury ship.

Germany is home to one of the largest ship-building companies in the world, Meyer Werft and has cool ports such as Hamburg. A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbor promenade (Landungsbrücken).

In Netherlands, visit the Anne Frank Museum and head to the historical city centre, a compact living museum with everything within walking distance, from the diamond cutters to the world famous museums and art galleries.

Lines such as Princess Cruises offer stunning itineraries where you can watch the Russian Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, visit WWII sites such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and explore the Kronburg Castle in Denmark.

 

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the most visited parts of the world. The UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are lots of different places to visit, from London, the capital of the UK, which is a hotspot for fine food, great shopping and a bustling night life, to Douglas on Isle of Man, which is a sleepy town famous for its water wheels and horse-drawn tram (one of only two left in the world). Other historic places to visit include Edinburgh, which is steeped in history and hosts festivals throughout the year including the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, and Newcastle, once a heavily industrialised town and is now one of the UK’s funkiest cities. Lines such as P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises call at Southampton, one of the worlds biggest ports. Visitors will be able to see ships on Southampton waters year round. The UK also has major airports where you can catch connecting flights to river cruise destinations in France, Germany and Hungary.

 

Ports

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The historic centre of Belfast is small enough to be explored by foot. St George’s Market on May Street, near Belfast Central Station is Northern Ireland’s largest indoor market. Farmers markets are held on Saturday, selling local produce, clothing and crafts. The open-top Belfast Sightseeing bus tours shows visitors famous murals painted on the ends of terraced houses, Harland and Wolff shipyards, where the ill-fated Titanic was built, and Queens University.

Who goes there: All Leisure Group, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen, Holland America Line, Louis Cruises, The Majestic Line, National Geographic Expeditions, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Sea Cloud Cruises, Silversea, TUI Cruises.

Best for: Maritime buffs and singles.

 

Douglas, Isle of Man

Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man, which has its own government and parliament. When you arrive, visit Laxey, a delightful village on the electric railway between Douglas and Ramsey. It’s famous for its water wheel, said to be the world’s largest in operation. Douglas is also famous for its Manx produce including smoked kippers and Manx tartan cloth.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Olivia Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Silversea, Swan Hellenic, Windstar Cruises.

Best for: Couples.

 

Dover, England

Dover is full of history, with a medieval town centre, and of course the famous White Cliffs. It is worth visiting Dover Castle, which has a number of museums. There is also the Dover Museum, the Roman Painted House Museum and Pines Garden. Neighbouring Canterbury, with its historic cathedral, is a 30-minute bus trip away and worth a visit if you have time.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Voyages of Antiquity.

Best for: Families.

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

The capital of Scotland is steeped in history. It is also one of the funkiest towns in Europe with a number of festivals throughout the year. Some of the most well-known include the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. There is an amazing list of museums and galleries – some of the best include the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Check out Edinburgh Zoo, the second most popular attraction in Scotland and is home to two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, on loan from the People’s Republic of China.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Ocean

Best for: Everyone.

 

Harwich, Essex

Harwich is known for its architectural heritage with many medieval homes still intact. A pair of lighthouses that once guided vessels into this North Sea port are still standing and one now houses the town's maritime museum. Some of the town’s notable public buildings include the parish church of St Nicholas, built in the Gothic style, with much of the original furnishings still inside.

Who goes there: Costa Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Voyages of Discovery.

Best for: History buffs and older couples.

 

Holyhead, Wales

Holyhead is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. There are lots of excellent walking trails including routes to South Stack Lighthouse and Holyhead Mountain through the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. There are many medieval monuments that remain around the town as well as religious sites such as burial grounds.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, TUI Cruises.

Best for: History buffs and older couples.

 

Liverpool, England

Recognised by the Guinness World Records as the World Capital City of Pop, Liverpool was the birth place of bands such as The Beatles, Atomic Kitten and Ladytron. Liverpool is also one of the most historic maritime cities in the United Kingdom. As a major British port, its waterfronts and docks are some of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Albert Dock has restaurants, bars, shops as well as two hotels. It is worth visiting the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Tate Liverpool as well as The Beatles Story museum which is also on Albert Dock. There are plenty of gardens as well as art galleries. The city also hosts the Liverpool Biennial festival which attracts some of the biggest names like John Lennon’s former wife and controversial artist, Yoko Ono. Liverpool is also known for its thriving nightlife with some of the UK’s biggest and best clubs.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Disney Cruise Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Best for: Everyone.

 

London, England

London is the largest city in the United Kingdom and is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Visitors could spend years in London and still not see everything. The major landmarks include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus and the London Eye. London is also a fantastic place for shopping. Pick up pieces from local designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo from iconic department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods. London is also famed for its food, from fine dining at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester hotel to Bangladeshi food in Brick Lane, there is something for every palette. There is a wealth of art and culture. Enjoy opera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden or catch an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical at a West End theatre.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Silversea, Viking Ocean Cruises.

Best for: Everyone.

 

Newcastle

Once an industrial port town, Newcastle has been transformed into one of the most happening UK cities. The city retains much of its medieval street layout and has some great tourist attractions such as the Theatre Royal on Grey Street where visitors can catch performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Newcastle also hosts a number of festivals. If your cruise ship stops at Newcastle in April, you might be able to catch the Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival, which has performances, exhibitions, concerts, conferences and film screenings. Newcastle also has a bustling nightlife and is filled with bars, clubs and restaurants.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

Best for: Couples, singles and night owls.

 

Plymouth, England

Plymouth has become one of the most popular seaside destinations for both local and overseas tourists. Union Street was at the heart of Plymouth’s historical culture and it was a place sailors found entertainment of all kinds. During the 1930s, it attracted performers such as Charlie Chaplin. In August, the British Firework Championships attract tens of thousands of people to Plymouth. Its notable landmarks include the Royal Citadel, built after the English Civil War, and the Plymouth Naval Memorial, commemorating those killed in World Wars I and II.

Who goes there: Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Best for: History buffs and couples.

 

Portsmouth, England

Portsmouth is a great place for the entire family. The waterfront has good shopping, eating and drinking holes. Portsmouth has three theatres which specialises in classical, modern and avant-garde drama. Other attractions include the D-Day Museum and, at the dockyard, HMS Victory, Mary Rose, HMS Warrior and the Royal Naval Museum. Portsmouth is the birthplace of author Charles Dickens. There are plenty of things for kids, too, including the Pyramids Fun Pools and Blue Reef Aquarium.

Who goes there: Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery.

Best for: Maritime fanatics, history buffs and families.

 

Southampton

Southampton is one of the United Kingdom’s busiest ports, frequented by the world’s largest cruise ships. Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Cunard have headquarters in Southampton. The city is home to the longest surviving stretch of medieval walls in England, as well as museums such as the Tudor House Museum and SeaCity Museum, which has an exhibition on Titanic. Southampton also has a thriving music scene and a number of good restaurants including The White Star Tavern, Bugle, The Pig and the Michelin-starred The Terrace.

Best for: Foodies, maritime lovers and history buffs.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Tui Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises.

 

France

France

Ideally located on the route between the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Le Havre in Normandy is a popular port of call for many international cruise lines. Located at the mouth of the Seine River, the major port in north-western France is a model of concrete grandeur. Visit the Museum of Modern Art and St Joseph’s Church. If you are a history buff, you might want to take the D-Day landing beaches excursion. Another popular of call is Cherbourg. It has the best seafood fresh off the boat and dining in a bistro is a distinctly French experience. Visit the Museum Emmanuel-Liais, a museum of natural history and archaeology.

 

Ports

Cannes

Cannes is a resort town on the French Riviera and is famous for its film festival which attracts some of the world’s biggest movie stars. The coast is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. The iconic waterfront avenue, Promenade de la Croisette, is known for its restaurants, cafes and boutiques. There are also a number of museums including the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence and the Musée de la Castre, which houses artefacts from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Star Clippers, Voyages of Antiquity, Windstar Cruises.

Best for: Families.

 

Cherbourg

An important naval base during the Napoleonic wars, the city has a number of learned societies, such as the National Academic Society of Cherbourg, and several museums dedicated to its residents. One well worth a visit is the Muséum Emmanuel-Liais, a museum of natural history, archaeology and ethnography, in the former home of Emmanuel Liais, mayor of Cherbourg, astronomer and explorer. For the foodies, you can’t go past the fresh seafood so look for lemon sole, red mullet, scallops and mussels when ordering.

Best for: Foodies and maritime history lovers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Viking Oceans.

 

Le Harve

A World Heritage site since 2005, the centre of Le Havre was brilliantly rebuilt under the guidance of architect Auguste Perret after being all but obliterated by WWII bombing. Attractions include a museum full of impressionist paintings, a soaring church with a stained-glass tower and gardens with views over the city. The markets are known for their wide selection of cheeses, pate, apples, cider and calvados.

Best for: Well travelled tourists.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&0 Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Viking Oceans.

 

Marseille

Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris. Founded more than 2,500 years ago, it is now a major centre for art and history with many museums and galleries. Those interested in history and architecture should visit Hotel de Ville, Marseille’s city hall, which was built in the 17th century, and the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, built in the 4th century and enlarged in the 11th century. For the foodies, try the traditional Marseille bouillabaisse, a seafood tomato broth soup served with French crusty bread. And the locally made aioli, a sauce made from eggs, lemon juice, olive oil and lemon juice served with boiled fish.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Voyages to Antiquity.

Best for: Foodies and history buffs.

 

Nice

Take a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, which follows a sweep of beach along the Mediterranean and is home to the Hotel Negresco, the city’s most famous palatial hotel, constructed in 1912. Place Masséna, the city’s main square is surrounded by lovely historic buildings where you’ll find perfume shops and designer boutiques. There are a number of other squares to visit, including Place Rossetti and Place Garibaldi which stand out for their architecture and history. While in Nice, try some local specialties such as the roasted vegetable dish Ratatouille or fried bread called Beignets. Nice has a huge range of cuisines including Nicoise, French, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish and Italian.

Who goes there: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises

Best for: Families.

 

Saint Tropez

Known for its relaxing resort lifestyle, St Tropez is great for windsurfing, sailing and canoeing. Many visitors flock to the city for its array of water sports including scuba diving. Visit the Citadel of St Tropez which is a well-known tourist attraction. One of the best places to stay in is the Hotel Byblos and Les Caves du Roy. The city is a holiday destination for the rich and famous – many of which, have sleek super yachts and sailing boats moored around the harbour.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Star Clippers, Windstar.

Best for: Couples.

 

Russia

Russia

Fast becoming a popular cruise destination, Russia’s rich history and vibrant cities makes it one of the best countries to visit. The capital of Russia is Moscow, home of the Kremlin which is home to the president and tsarist treasures which are in the Armoury. Also in the capital is the Red Square which also has Lenin’s Mausoleum. If you have a bit more time pre or post cruise, try and visit Lake Baikal which is an ancient lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia. There are some amazing trails for hikes and in the winter, ice skating and dog sledding.

 

Ports

St Petersburg

The stunning Russian city is guilded in gold leaf and rich in the history of the Russian royal family. Some of the tourist highlights include Peterhof Palace and Garden, the Russian Museum and St Nicholas Church. The Hermitage Museum which has one of the largest art collections in the entire world – more than three million pieces. You will see paintings, graphic works, sculptures as well as archaeological artefacts.

Best for: Couples, art and history lovers.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Germany

Germany

Germany is a popular ocean cruise destination for international cruise lines. Sampling the country’s hearty cuisine is a must, especially at any street stall which sells bratwurst and chips. The two main ports are Hamburg and Kiel. The busiest is Hamburg, which sits on the banks of the River Elbe. It is a cultural hub with more than 100 music venues, 60 museums and 40 theatres. Modern art lovers make a beeline for the Kunsthalle gallery and the Hamburg State Opera House. The port of Kiel on the Baltic Sea has a long maritime and military history. Visit the oldest building in the city, St Nicholas Church and stroll along Holstenstrabe, the longest shopping street in the country.

 

Ports

Hamburg

This seaport on the River Elbe is the second largest city in Germany and has a rich history, stretching back to medieval times. Modern Hamburg is a cultural hub with more than 40 theatres, 100 music venues and clubs and 60 museums. For modern art lovers, visit the Kunsthalle Hamburg or the Museum for Art and Industry. The Hamburg State Opera is a beautiful venue where visitors can watch the Philharmoniker Hamburg. For the foodies, try local specialties such as birnen, bohnen und speck (green beans cooked with pears and bacon) or pannfisch (pan-fried fish with mustard sauce).

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea.

 

Kiel

Attractions include the oldest building in the city, Nikolaikirche or St Nicholas Church, and the Holstenstraße, one of Germany’s longest shopping streets. There are also a number of lakes and parks for the outdoor lover, and two botanical gardens. The Kiel Regatta is held during the last week of June and is the largest sailing event in the world.

Best for: Families and maritime lovers.

Who goes there: Costa, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC.

 

Denmark

Home to our very own Princess Mary, this lovely Scandinavian country has some of the best restaurants in the world, quaint towns and royal palaces. It also has Nyhavn harbour, the Tivoli amusement park as well as the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ statue. Cruises lines like Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas depart from Copenhagen, the country’s capital. While you’re in Denmark visit Aarhus which has world famous museums like the ARoS art museum.

 

Ports

Copenhagen

Stroll past Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens and along the cobbled and bike-filled streets where the locals are considered to be the happiest in the world. See the famous Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinje Pier and visit the Church of Our Savior and Rosenburg Castle. Stroget in the heart of the city is one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets with a wealth of shops.

Best for: Curious travellers.

Who goes there: APT, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Sweden

Sweden

Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal inlands and inland lakes. The country also has vast boreal forests and ice-capped mountains which makes it a nature-lovers paradise. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and has innovative and slick fashion brands like Acne (known for their suave leather jackets). Gothenburg is the best place to go island hopping. And with its endless summer evenings, the locals often kayak from island to island. Sweden is also the place where you can see the Northern Lights.

 

Ports

Stockholm

The capital of Sweden is best known for 1970s pop stars ABBA so don’t miss the ABBA museum. The capital is made up of 14 islands connected by 50 bridges. Jump on a hop-on, hop-off boat for a tour of the canals. Go to the archipelago for spectacular views of the islands and take a stroll in the old town of Gamla Stan, a bustling area dating back to the 13th century, that’s packed with restaurants and souvenir shops.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages,Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

mediterranean

It’s the European capital of cruise. The Mediterranean is the number one long-haul destination for Aussies to fly and cruise from. With its stunning pebble beaches and warm weather, it draws cruise passengers from every part of the world.

At least 16 of the world’s major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, homeport ships here between April and October. The region is also fast becoming a place for cruisers to explore with small-ship cruise lines such as Katarina and Peregrine.

There is an abundance of ports to cruise from and visit, and some of the world’s most historic cities can be accessed by cruise ships.

Spain, Italy, France and Greece are perennial favourites and one of the hottest new cruise destinations is Croatia.

The Med offers a smorgasbord of fascinating history, amazing food and wine and unique mix of cultures.

The region is divided into the Western Med (Spain, Portugal, France and Italy) and the Eastern Med, which includes Greece, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, Turkey and Israel.

With such an astonishing spread of cultural icons – Rome, Florence, Jerusalem, the Acropolis – and heart-stoppingly beautiful locations (the Greek islands, Corfu, Sardinia), no wonder the Med is a cruise magnet.

Then there are islands such as Corsica, Elba, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Crete, Corfu and the Balearic Islands, best known for Mallorca (Majorca) and Ibiza.

A major drawcard, the beauty and allure of the Greek islands is legendary, with sapphire-blue waters and sparkling white buildings. Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini are all visited by at least 14 major cruise lines.

Their attractions vary, but you can count on stunning beaches, walled cities, temples, mosaics, sculptures, ruins, great Greek food – and about 300 days of sunshine a year. Plus a fair chance of celeb spotting!

Almost any time of year is good, although the weather will definitely be warmer between April and October.

Some ports are within an hour or so from another major city or region: Civitavecchia for Rome, Livorno for Florence, Cadiz for Seville, Ashdod for Jerusalem, Marseille for Provence, Malaga for Granada, Katakolon for ancient Olympia.

Always fascinating, often jaw-dropping, never boring, a Mediterranean cruise means you will return home with precious memories and immense pleasure that you have experienced this almost land-locked sea, which has seen it all for centuries.

 

Croatia

Croatia

The spectacular coastline and beaches of Croatia are one reason why more than 12 million people visit Croatia every year. Most cruise lines explore the rugged Dalmatian coast and call at the ports of Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar.

Croatia is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including Plitvice Lakes National Park, the historical complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, the Old City of Dubrovnik, the Episcopal complex of the Euphrasian Basilica, the historical centre of Porec, historic city of Trogir, the Sibenik’s Cathedral of St James and the Stari Grad Plain. You won’t go wrong with any of these.

 

Ports

Dubrovnik

Walk the walled medieval town which is crammed with culture and history. Laze on Adriatic beaches, or enjoy museums and the vibrant cafe scene. Take the cable car up Srd Hill to enjoy a panoramic view of Dubrovnik’s Old Town and the Adriatic sea and snap some Instagram photos. With enough time, take a boat to an outlying island.

Best for: lovers of art, architecture and history – and sunshine.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Katarina Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

France

Croatia

With its fabled cities, spellbinding beauty and charming countryside, France is Europe’s cruising magnet. You will discover storybook towns behind medieval walls, fabulous markets and enchanting ports. Most international ocean lines visit Marseille, the second largest city in France, steeped in style and history. Visit Marseille Cathedral and the oldest neighbourhood of Le Panier, known for its narrow alleyways and Haussmannian buildings. Another popular port is Ajaccio. The capital of Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. It was the birthday of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his home is now a museum. Visit the 16th century Notre Dame Cathedral where he was baptised.

 

Ajaccio, Corsica

Napoleon’s birthplace is French with an Italian slant. Look for great bread, patisseries and food, and relaxed Italian ambience and architecture. Do see the main market for gourmet goodies, and the many sandy beaches. (Note: some cruise lines may call at Calvi, Portovecchio, Propriano or Bonifacio)

Best for: All ages, gourmets and history buffs.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Marseille, Provence

The old port has glam super-yachts, a busy shore-front market, restaurants (try the bouillabaisse!) and cafes capturing the essence of Provence. Access to other Provencal areas is easy.

Best for: Couples, shoppers, food-lovers, all ages.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Just a 30-minute drive from Nice, the tiny principality of Monaco has long been a playground of the rich and famous. Monte Carlo offers an intoxicating blend of history, glitz and glamour. Stroll along the Cote d’Azur waterfront lined with super-yachts, visit the Monaco Cathedral and the palace with its priceless artwork and artefacts, and have a flutter in the Grand Casino is you fit the dress-code (seriously).

Best for: Luxury lovers and celebrity spotters.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Greece

Santorini in Greece

The Greek islands were once the playground to the jet set, made famous by Jackie O. Now a cruise to the Greek islands is open to anyone, with options from big cruise ships to boutique sailing yachts. Large international lines tend to call on the higher-trafficked islands including Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. The smaller ships are more likely to call at off the beaten track islands like Skiathos and Hydra. Some of Greece’s best wines comes from Santorini where you can easily spend a whole day touring wineries. Mykonos is known for its sun, sea and fun. On Crete, head straight for Knossos Palace, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world with ruins dating back 4,000 years.

 

Ports

Athens

History is everywhere, and just recalling the age of the Parthenon and Acropolis, Delphi (a day trip) and other ancient sites makes your head swim. Despite the Greek economy, the city’s facelift has added a new buzz.

Best for: History lovers and explorers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seaborn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Mykonos

This is the island for celeb-spotting, glitzy venues and boutiques, along with art galleries and museums. Explore Little Venice with its medieval houses that may once have been used by pirates. Laze of golden beaches by day and enjoy the nightlife, wining and dining after sunset.

Best for: Those who like a party, artists, beach lovers – anyone adult!

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seaborn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Santorini

The beauty, the colours, the non-stop sunny days, the views from the caldera cliffs, this volcanic island is Greece at its picture-postcard best. Browse the boutiques and galleries of Fira and Oia, visit the ruins of Akrotiri, or simply sit and soak it all in – preferably with some fresh seafood and a glass of local wine.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Italy

Italy

Italy is home to Michaelangelo’s David and the Sistine Chapel. While it may have more iconic works of art than any other country in the Mediterranean, Italy is more than painting and sculpture. You can immerse yourself in the beauty of Rome and Venice which are also the country’s major cruise ports or you can cruise along the stunning Amalfi coast, the rugged Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera or to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. In Rome, visit the Colosseum, the Vatican City and admire the ancient ruins at the Roman Forum. In Venice you can marvel at masterpieces, get around in a gondola and relax with a gelato. In Sicily, visit the breathtaking town of Taormina and spend some time at the piazza, people-watching.

 

Ports

Cagliari, Sardinia

Sardinia’s terrain is rugged and wild inland, with wildlife such as ponies, sheep and flamingos. The coast can be achingly chic, with resorts, super-yachts, boutiques and designer bikinis. Alghero’s old walled town is worth a visit, as is the San Benedetto market in Cagliari.

Best for: Water and luxury lovers.

Who goes there: Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Florence (Livorno)

Crammed with galleries, palaces, museums and churches, the well-preserved 15th-century city is also brimming in style. There’s too much to fit into a day, so visit one or two places in-depth, such as the Uffizi Gallery and El Duomo, then wander across the River Arno’s Ponte Vecchio with its jumble of art and goods for sale. The port of Livorno is an hour from Florence.

Best for: All ages, families, couples, history and art lovers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages,  Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Naples, Italy

This rough and tumble city has an incredibly mixed heritage. The Greeks, Romans, Normans, Germans and French all had a hand in it, and there is architecture and ruins to prove it. Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Capri and the Amalfi Coast are all nearby. Try pizza from where it originated.

Best for: Couples, history lovers and pizza fans.

Who goes there: APT, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Rome, the Eternal City, offers so many ancient treasures: the Colosseum, Vatican City, St Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Trastavere. Then there are there are the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso with its spectacular shopping (think, shoes and handbags, ladies!) and the whole spectacle that is Rome. Don’t miss great gelati, cafes and restaurants, too.

Best for: All ages, families, couples, honeymooners, singles.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Venice

Get ‘lost’ in the maze of lanes and bridges over the hundreds of waterways in this seemingly impossible almost-floating city. St Mark’s Basilico and its grand piazza, the Grand Canal, the arched Rialto Bridge are mesmerising and a romantic gondola-ride along the web of canals, a must.

Best for: Lovers old and young.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Spain

Spain

Think Spain and images of tapas bars, wine, art and flamenco dance immediately come to mind. Most international cruise lines call at Barcelona, Malaga and Seville (Cadiz). Feel the buzz of Barcelona when you walk down its grand boulevards or visit Gaudi’s quirky creations. Malaga has the hip SoHo district, Valencia the futuristic City of Arts and Science, or you can simply swoon at the Alhambra palace in Seville. Try flamenco dancing and do not miss a chance to eat Spanish ham or jamon serrano, especially in Barcelona.

 

Ports

Barcelona

Barcelona has many neighbourhoods ranging from hip to historic, Gothic to modern, and plain tourist driven. From the port terminal, Las Ramblas leads to the old centre and huge plaza, Gaudi’s Basilica is unmissable, as are his many other buildings. See the Olympic stadium, and Barcelonetta, an artsy, former fishing village.

Best for: Photographers, foodies and architecture buffs.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Malaga (Granada)

A sweeping bay, 16 beaches, winding lanes in the old town and plenty of places to relax with coffee or some good local wine and some tapas, make Malaga on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol a popular port of call. Granada is about two hours away, with fine old museums, palaces and the star in its crown, The Alhambra, a 14th-century palace-fortress.

Best for: Families and couples.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Oceans.

 

Gibraltar

The huge rock at the entrance to the Mediterranean off the Spanish coast is a British Crown Colony now, but in the past thousand years it has been occupied by nine nations. Head for the top of the Rock by cable car, meet the resident Barbary apes and gasp at the matchless view of Europe and Africa.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

asia

With an abundance of exotic destinations, more well-known cruise lines and cheaper air fares, Asia is now a popular place to cruise for Australians and New Zealanders.

More than 300,000 now fly to Asia to cruise.

Singapore has become a major cruise hub, with cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises homeporting year round. Great air connections have also helped.

The Lion City is famous for its shopping, beautiful hotels, delicious hawker food and family-friendly atmosphere – perfect for pre- and post-cruise breaks.

Cruises sail to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia on a number of short and longer itineraries. Most lines offer two- to five-day itineraries.

Premium and luxury cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Silversea and Crystal Cruises sail from Australia on longer voyages around the region.

Malaysia is one of the most popular countries to visit. With ports including Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, the country has a rich colonial history, stunning beaches and lovely wildlife.

Ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai are also home to some of the world’s biggest ships including Royal Caribbean’s technologically advanced Quantum of the Seas. They sail to popular destinations like Vietnam and Japan as well as burgeoning destination, the Philippines. Fast becoming a new favourite country to explore by cruise ship, the Filipino islands such as Boracay are famous for their white sandy beaches and snorkelling.

Japan’s north and south cruise regions are vastly different and lines including Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean regularly sail to destinations such as sub-tropical Okinawa as well as Kyoto and Tokyo, which are famous for their vibrant shopping districts and beautiful Shinto temples.

 

China

China is shaping up as one of the world’s biggest cruise market with more international cruise lines making a beeline for the Middle Kingdom. For ocean liners, Baoshan/Shanghai is the country’s most popular cruise destination, followed by Tianjin, Hainan/Haikou, Xiamen, Hainan/Sanya, Guangzhou/Nansha and Dalian.

For river journeys, cruising the Yangtze River is the most popular destination for both international and domestic visitors.

For a country as vast and multi-faceted as China, several places feature in every bucket list. They include the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army, the great pandas in Chengdu, the Forbidden City in Beijing and The Bund in Shanghai.

 

Ports

Hong Kong

Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Hong Kong comprises many areas: Kowloon, the island CBD, Victoria Peak (a must), and beach villages Aberdeen and Stanley (with its vibrant sprawling market) on the other side. Great street markets and fashion shopping. The Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island is also a must.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Dream Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Ponant, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Shanghai

Pavillions at Chenghuang Miao area, Shanghai

Shanghai is a blend of ancient, colonial and sophisticated architecture. Pudong’s space-age buildings overlook the winding river and are best seen from The Bund, more than a kilometre of esplanade. The 16th-century Old Town is delightful with temples, tea-houses and great dim sum places.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Costa Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Tianjin (Beijing)

Tiannamen Gate, Beijing, China

Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the 15th-century Temple of Heaven are high on everyone’s list. Hit the markets for clothing, shoes, silks, luggage and handbags. After all this, treat yourself to a foot massage! With an extra day, the Great Wall is not to be missed.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Indonesia

Indonesia is emerging as an important cruise destination because of its complex culture, superb waters and gorgeous landscape. Bali remains the country’s most popular drawcard offering something for everyone from kid-friendly water theme parks, monkey gardens to artisan shops in Ubud. But visitors should not forget the magnificent Borobodur temples which are just a couple of hours’ drive from Semarang and the 100-metre Sendang Gile waterfall in the Mount Rinjani National Park in Lombok.

 

Ports

Benoa (Bali)

Balinese dancers, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Denpasar and its “Gold Street” and bustling four-storey market is worth seeing, as are the surf beaches and bars, cafes and restaurants at Kuta, and the high-end resorts (spa treatment, anyone?) of Nusa Dua. With an extra day, take a trip to the north of the island, via arty-offbeat Ubud.

Best for: All ages, couples, surfers, shoppers, art lovers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Jakarta

Spend time in the Old Batavia region and be captivated by the tranquil open square surrounded by original 18th-century buildings from the time of the Dutch East India Company. Jakarta’s food is spicy (this is the epicenter of the Spice Islands, after all) and available at street-food stalls in the square. Shopping is good at the city’s many large modern shopping centres.

Best for: History buffs and food lovers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Windstar.

 

Japan

Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan

The Land of the Rising Sun is the most popular cruise destination for Asians especially Chinese passengers who are fascinated with Japanese health products, cosmetics, food and culture. While most international cruise lines call at Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki and Hakata, many are also heading south to Okinawa for its azure waters and sandy beaches. Most tourists spend several days in Tokyo, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities while others visit Mount Fuji and the old capital of Kyoto.

 

Ports

Nagasaki

The Peace Park is a gentle entry to the story of the bombing of this historic city. The Nagasaki Hypocenter Park is graphic and sobering, with ruins and memorials, and the nearby Atomic Bomb Museum has even more relics and photographs.

Best for: Families and history buffs.

Who goes there: APT, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Windstar Cruises.

 

Kyoto (Osaka)

Visit some of Kyoto’s two thousand shrines and temples, with visitors dressed in graceful kimonos, and also the geisha district (Gion) to learn the importance of this traditional life.

Best for: History lovers and photographers.

Who goes there: Abercrombie & Kent, APT, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Tokyo (Yokohama)

Sumo in Tokyo, Japan

The Imperial City sprawls over an immense area – temples, museums, shops, food outlets galore – so only plan to see a section of it. Ginza is great for luxury shopping, nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants. Tsukiji Fish Market is the world’s largest, or see as much as you can from Skytree Tower, Japan’s tallest building. The port of Yokohama, with vibrant waterside parks and a silk museum, is 40 minutes by train from central Tokyo.

Best for: Everyone.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages,  Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Malaysia

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

As Malaysia develops its “Straits Riviera” strip of ports including Penang, Port Kelang, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Melaka and Kuching, the country is fast becoming a popular cruise destination. Visitors always head to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur which is a 90-minute drive from Port Kelang. KL’s skyline is punctuated by Moorish minarets and gleaming skyscrapers. One of the city’s oldest heritage sites in Merdeka Square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, popularly known as the Blood and Bandages building. As a sharp contrast, visit the futuristic 88-storey Petronas Towers which look like gleaming silver rockets. In Penang, food is the main attraction. The city’s bustling food stalls are packed with charming locals of Malay, Chinese and Indian heritage. What a melting pot of cultures.

 

Ports

Penang

Wander the UNESCO World Heritage-listed area of George Town, Penang’s capital, with its old shop houses. Chinese temples, Muslim mosques, Christian churches and Hindu temples are often close together.

Best for: Food lovers and families.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Dream Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Kuala Lumpur (Kelang)

Port Kelang is about an hour from the sleek and modern Malaysian capital, KL. There are good views from the observation deck on the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers but the best city views are from Menara KL Tower in the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.

Best for: Families, food lovers and shoppers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Dream Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Philippines

More than 100 international cruise lines visited the Philippines last year, a significant increase from 72 the previous year. The government continues to be behind the development of the cruise industry, particularly the Turquoise Triangle, linking the ports of Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa. The capital city of Manila never sleeps and visitors are never short of things to do. Head to Manila Ocean Park, home to the city tallest musical fountain, walk along Escolata Street with its neoclassical and beaux-arts architecture and hop on a colourful jeepney to visit Old Manila. The island of Boracay is another key attraction especially for divers, surfers, snorkellers and swimmers.

 

Ports

Manila

Intramuros, Manilla, Philippines

The Philippines’ modern capital has new buildings, good hotels, casinos and shopping malls. Its colonial Spanish history is preserved at Intramuros (meaning “within the walls”). The 16th-century walled city, once the fortress, now has gardens and fountains.

Best for: Couples and history lovers.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Singapore

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Singapore is the regional hub for the cruise industry in Southeast Asia and is the first Asian country to win the award for Cruise Destination of the Year. There’s something for everyone in this absolutely modern city. The city state has a rich cultural mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian traditions which come alive when you walk into any hawker centre to savour local cuisine from chicken rice, nasi lemak to mee goreng. The green city has a charming Botanic Gardens with some of the best orchid plants display. It is also a shopping paradise from Ion in Orchard Road to Haji Lane for local fare. The unique three-towered Marina Bay Sands complex has a huge upmarket shopping mall at ground level, with the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum nearby. Don’t miss Gardens by the Bay to watch the 16-storey Supertrees light up at sunset.

Best for: Families, food lovers, shoppers and big-city fans.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Dream Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

South Korea

Seoullo, Seoul, South Korea

Few destinations can match South Korea’s impressive track record when it comes to attracting cruise ships with Jeju Island the most visited port in the region. Whether you are exploring the ultra-modern streets of Seoul, visiting a traditional Buddhist monastery or hiking through one of its national parks, South Korea will constantly surprise and delight. You can step back in time with a visit to Jeonju Hanok Village or you can visit the DMZ, the heavily guarded border which separates North and South Korea. On the other hand, you might just want to see how the locals shop at their 24-hour shopping malls.

 

Ports

Seoul (Incheon)

This orderly city with wide roads and welcoming locals is a delightful place. Visit at least one of the many temples, drink tea in a teahouse and marvel at the remaining ancient city gates. There is a park and memorials of the Korean War, a kimchi museum (yes, really!) and the huge Namdaemun Market.

Best for: Couples, fashion lovers, history buffs and fans of Korean food.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Taiwan

Nature is one of Taiwan’s biggest drawcards. The country’s towering mountains, national parks and hot spring resorts have made Taiwan a popular cruise destination. The country has a special appeal to visitors who enjoy hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits. Most cruise passengers will spend sometime at Taipei savouring the city’s myriad restaurants which take great pride in serving stinky tofu, milkfish and pig’s blood pudding. Most popular tourist spots include Sun Moon Lake, Jade Mountain and Kenting National Park.

 

Ports

Taipei (Keelung)

Must-sees in the busy modern city of Taipei are the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Martyr’s Shrine and the National Palace Museum, which has more than 600,000 priceless artefacts relocated from Beijing during the Chinese Civil War. The Taipei 101 skyscraper has 360-degree views.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Windstar Cruises.

 

Thailand

Grand Palace, Bangkok. Thailand

With its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and some of the best street food in Asia, Thailand is a popular cruise destination for international cruise lines. Bangkok and Phuket are the two main port cities, although Bangkok’s main port of Laem Chabang is two hours’ drive away from the capital city. You will never be short of exciting things to do in Bangkok, most visit the Grand Palace and the Vimanmek Mansion Museum, the world’s largest teakwood building. In Phuket, tourists always head to Wat Chalong temple and the Big Buddha.

 

Ports

Bangkok

Don't miss the Grand Palace, perhaps the world’s most sumptuously decorated royal property. Wander through temples, galleries and courtyards. The Temple of Dawn is also a must. The Chatuchak Weekend Market has more than 15,000 stalls selling almost everything. Nearby, OTK is a huge growers’ market, and there are many shopping centres.

Best for: Food lovers, photographers and shoppers

Who goes there: Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Vietnam

Notre-Dame, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam is not only an attractive destination for international cruise lines, it also offers exciting river journeys on the Mekong River. The country has an abundance of attractions from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the beach resorts of Da Nang and Nha Trang. Vietnamese fresh and flavoursome cuisine never fails to impress and its two main cities offer an exotic combination of culture and architectural vestiges from the French colonial days to the American Vietnam wars of the 1960s. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City and the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi.

Ports

Ho Chi Minh City

HCMC is a huge city with chaotic traffic, so be satisfied to only see a little in a day. HCMC’s food features fresh herbs and a finesse that comes from the French colonial era. Take a cooking class, be fitted for a stylish silk dress or shirt, and spend time in the massive city market where haggling is the norm. Visit the history-making Reunification Palace with its basement war rooms and tunnels, and the sobering War Remnants Museum.

Best for: Families, food lovers and shoppers.

Who goes there: APT, AmaWaterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

 

Halong Bay (Hanoi)

Tours of Halong Bay visit caves and grottoes on the islands, including the Hospital Cave, a secret bomb-proof clinic used during the American/Vietnam War. Hanoi is about three hours by road. An elegant city where yellow houses echo French colonial times, and there are pagodas, temples and museums – and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum with his body on display.

Best for: Families, food lovers, shoppers and photographers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Dream Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

middle east

The Middle East is emerging as a major cruise destination which attracts history buffs and adventure lovers. From Egyptian pyramids (which you will see when cruising down the Nile on a river ship) to the stunning mosques in the UAE, there is something for everyone. The United Arab Emirates’ two main cities are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both cities have the highest rated hotels in the world as well as glitzy shopping malls. Dubai has become the major cruise hub in the Middle East. With its vast air connections across the globe, Dubai is the most convenient destination for the passenger turnaround in the Middle East. Visitors can cruise around the UAE and experience shore excursions like desert safaris in destinations like Muscat.

In Abu Dhabi, visit the colossal Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque, clad in Macedonian marble, mosaic tiles, intricate carvings on both the interior and exterior, took nearly 20 years to complete. The mosque is able to hold 40,000 worshippers and is the biggest in the UAE. For a more historical site, visit the Al-Hosn Palace which is also known as the Old Fort. Muscat, the capital of Oman is completely different from the rest of the Emirates on the Arabian Gulf. It is conservative, restrained and magical. Traditional architecture of the city stand in sharp contrast to its rugged terrain and natural beauty. Hemmed in by terracotta-coloured mountains which gradually turn pink in the early morning sunshine when the call to prayer reverberates across the rooftops. The city has been a thriving port for centuries.

 

Ports

Dubai

Dubai

Visiting the world’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa with its high speed lifts that stop at the 124th floor public platform for visitors to get a dizzying bird’s eye view of the amazing city. If you like to shop, there’s Dubai Mall, the world’s biggest shopping mall packed with designer labels, affordable shops and plenty of family entertainment including an aquarium. The gold and spice souks are laden with traders selling a dazzling array of 22-carat, ornately-designed gold bangles and necklaces which the locals adore. But most tourists find the heady perfumed oils and fragrant spices irresistible.

Who goes there: Costa Cruises, Aida, Princess Cruises, Cunard, MSC, Holland America, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean, Thomson Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line.

Best for: Families and couples with a sense of adventure.

 

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is the biggest and richest of the seven emirates nations. The Louvre sits near the much delayed Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim which is now expected to be ready next year. Together they occupy the eastern rim of Saadiyat Island, surrounded by sea. “Saadiyat” in Arabic means happiness. The island will eventually be turned into a high-brow cultural park with a performance space designed by the London-based architect, Zaha Hadid and will include a marina and gold course.

Who goes there: MSC Cruises, Aida, Costa Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Norwegian Cruise Line

Best for: Family holidays and curious tourists who want a taste of the Middle Eastern culture and history.

 

Oman

The old walled city has ancient alleyways, museums and the vibrant Mutrah Souk, Muscat’s oldest market on the waterfront where you can haggle for frankincense, silverware, fridge magnets and even a khanjar, the traditional silver dagger of Oman. Khasab, a small port at the tip of Oman’s Musandam’s peninsula is where you board traditional dhow cruises to the fjords where you can watch dolphins, go kite-surfing, snorkel or scuba dive in the clear but chilly waters.

Who goes there: MSC, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Costa, Silversea, Seabourn, Azamara Club Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises.

Best for: Family holidays, young and mature adventure seekers who want to discover the charm of Oman, Muscat and Khasab.

Uluru Aboriginal Tours, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, NT

Darwin offers cruisers some unique experiences – it truly is unlike anywhere else in the world.

Cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas, Ponant, Silversea, Oceania, Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line and Coral Expeditions, make calls at Darwin.

The cruise terminal is conveniently located adjacent to the CBD and most ships spend between six to 12 hours in port. Many passengers head to Litchfield National Park, less than two hours drive from Darwin. Here they will see a myriad of diverse environments including rugged sandstone escarpments, two-metre high magnetic termite mounds and the dramatic Florence Falls in the middle of a monsoon forest plummeting down to a plunge pool.

Others spend time exploring Darwin itself, a lively city with temperatures no hotter or more humid than Singapore and Bali. At Parap Village Markets the flavours of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysian and Indonesia come to life. Besides a myriad of food stalls, visitors can also forage for fresh produce and pick up some neat craft handiwork as souvenirs. The market is five minutes from the CBD and opens on Saturdays.

Those interested in indigenous art can visit Coomalie Art Centre, which has a good collection of art and craft from the Top End and Central Australia. It is located in the picturesque town of Batchelor enroute to the Litchfield National Park.

For an unusual experience, head to Aquascene on Doctors Gully Road. Here hundreds of fish including milkfish, mullet, catfish, bream and barramundi come to shore at high tide and visitors can feed them by hand.

Exploring Darwin is a good introduction to the Northern Territory. It is also a good starting point for a pre- or post-cruise tour – visit the Red Centre to see Uluru, Australia’s largest rock formation, the breathtaking King’s Canyon or experience luxury wildness lodges or cattle stations. Other highlights include Kakadu, Katherine and Arnhem Land.

Darwin

To get a good feel for the Top End, visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to see some great Aboriginal artworks and enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach while watching the sunset at Mindil Beach. Sunset markets are held every Thursday and Sunday from April to October.

Best for: Couples and families

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Coral Expeditions, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&0 Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar Cruises.

Sydney Harbour, NSW

The state has taken a real shine to cruise. Sydney, the largest cruise port in Australia and one of the best-known around the world, is home the country’s largest fleet during the wave season.

If the cruise lines have their way – they are battling to get more space for their ships in Sydney Harbour – there will be many more mega ships arriving.

For a first-time cruiser, there is nothing more breathtaking than seeing the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as you sail into Sydney Harbour.

Many passengers step off cruise ships at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, near The Rocks – the city’s colonial heritage area. It’s famous for its weekend arts and craft markets. Ships dock outside the Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses artworks from renowned international and local artists.

Within easy reach of port, Sydney offers beautiful beaches including Bondi, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Maroubra and Tamarama. If you have time, take the Bondi to Bronte Walk which gives you stunning views of the ocean as well as the eerie Waverly Cementrery.

Royal Caribbean homeports Australia’s largest ships, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and the technologically advanced Ovation of the Seas in Sydney.

Norwegian Cruise Line has the Norwegian Jewel homeported here. Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises have several ships sailing from Sydney year round, while the luxury cruise brands Crystal Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea make regular calls.

For cruisers looking for fine dining experiences, nothing beats sitting down for an opulent degustation meal at Quay restaurant, which is at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. You’ll feast on some gastronomical fare from the kitchen of Peter Gilmore while you take in the breathtaking sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Inner city suburbs such as Paddington and Surry Hills have amazing cafes as well as great shopping for local Australian designers. You’ll be able to pick up designer goods from Dion Lee, Camilla & Marc, Zimmermann and more.

If you you’re looking for pre- or post-cruise activities, consider a drive through to the Blue Mountains to visit the Three Sisters, a famous rock formation in Katoomba. You can also indulge in high tea at the newly refurbished art deco Hydro Majestic Hotel or explore the vintage shops in Leura.

Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney, is fast becoming a major cruise hub with cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Princess, Oceania and Norwegian Cruise Lines visiting.

Newcastle has great cafes and restaurants and the region is famous for its surf beaches, including Merewether Beach and Nobbys Beach.

It’s also within an hour’s drive of NSW’s premier wine region, the Hunter Valley, and there are regular tours from town. You can visit some famous wineries including Audrey Wilkinson, De Bortoli and Hungerford Hill.

In 2016, Royal Caribbean announced it would be calling at Wollongong, an hour south of Sydney. Rich in culture and history, Wollongong’s highlights include a visit to the Kiama Blowhole, the Nan Tien Temple – the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as great horse riding tours in the surrounding areas.

Eden

Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, Eden sits on the beautiful Sapphire Coast and is known for humpback whale sightings, especially between September and November. The Eden Killer Whale Museum has been operational for more than 80 years and houses exhibitions about the shore-based whaling operations during the 1800s and early 1900s, the major industry for Eden at the time.

For spectacular hikes, the Ben Boyd National Park scenery ranges from sandy beaches with pristine waters to coastal forests. Cruise passengers can also sample some of the country’s best seafood including fresh oysters and fish at one of Eden’s waterfront restaurants or cafes.

Best for: Older cruisers, history buffs, surfers, beach goers.

Who goes there: Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea.

Newcastle

The city has blossomed in recent years with restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries and art precincts. It also boasts some of the best surf beaches in Australia; check out Bar Beach, Cowrie Hole and Merewether Beach. There are also great walking tours around town and if you arrive on a weekend, visit the Hunt&Gather Markets. For the nature enthusiasts, there is the Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters where the entire family can learn about marine wildlife. Beer lovers can sip on a brew from the FogHorn Brewhouse, which has a bar and restaurant attached. There are some beautiful trails and hikes including the Great North Walk and Kooragang Wetlands, which has 15 kilometres of boardwalk. For arts and culture lovers, the Newcastle Art Gallery has 6,000 pieces from Australian artists including Arthur Boyd, Margaret Olley and Brett Whiteley.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

Sydney

Whether you are plunging into the surf at Bondi Beach, talking to the animals at Taronga Zoo, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or sipping cocktails at the Opera House, it’s hard to resist Sydney. The Harbour City is the perfect combination of natural good looks, glamour and indulgence. Celebrated for both its world-class cuisine and its outdoor lifestyle, Sydney also has a rich cultural life, with plenty of theatre, opera, ballet, live music and contemporary dance performance. Despite its 21st Century image, the city has preserved much of its early European and colonial heritage. Visitors can easily sidestep Sydney’s fast-paced energy by sailing (or kayaking) on the harbour, taking a bushwalk or learning to surf. Cruise ships dock at either Circular Quay or White Bay. The city is easily accessible from both. Sydney has an integrated transport system based around an Opal card used on ferries, buses, light rail and trains.

Best for: Couples, young families, older cruisers, culture vultures, food lovers, and history buffs.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruises Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

Wollongong

Wollongong, the most recent port to join the ranks of NSW cruise stops, is a regional city south of Sydney. Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to call at the port and plans to send more ships to the region. Wollongong is home to the famous Nan Tien Chinese Buddhist institute and temple. South of Wollongong lie seaside towns such as Kiama, Gerringong and Gerroa, where you can swim, kayak, surf and cast a line for whiting from the beaches. Inland, Berry and Kangaroo Valley are attractive heritage villages with shops, cafes, restaurants and historic pubs. There are a number of beaches including Austinmer, Bellambi and Wolli, though the most popular are Wollongong and North Wollongong. If you have the time surf schools conduct lessons.

Best for: Water enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Who goes there: Royal Caribbean.

Queensland

Queensland is known worldwide for its fantastic natural scenery, fascinating wildlife and superb year-round weather. Passengers can visit underwater wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Listed area and the world’s largest barrier reef. The vibrant coral and colourful tropical fish are accessible to everyone to enjoy, whether they want to scuba dive, snorkel, or keep dry on a glass bottomed boat.

A popular port of call on the south end of the reef is the Whitsunday Islands. Here you can access world class snorkelling, sail on a catamaran, take a scenic seaplane trip over the islands, or simply kick back in one of the luxury resorts. Cairns is Queensland’s second busiest port, from here you can access the reef or head inland to explore the Daintree Rainforest and attractions such as the Kuranda Skyrail.

Brisbane is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. The Southbank lined with restaurants, cafes, museums and theatres. It is also home to shopping on Queens Street, panoramic city views from the wheel of Brisbane, and historic architecture such as the heritage listed buildings which make up the Treasury Hotel and Casino.

On either side of Brisbane are the white sandy beaches of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. Offering whale watching during June-November, some of the world's best surfing spots, and miles of pristine beaches.

Ports

Brisbane

Who goes there: P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Celebrity, Azamara, Regent, Oceania, Crystal, Holland America.

Cruisers like: A laidback city, with a subtropical climate and access to stunning beaches and hinterland. The city itself has shops a plenty, riverside dining, and a year-round programme of events and festivals.

Best for: Shopaholics, foodies, and Queenslanders who prefer to drive to board the ship.

Getting around: Ships dock at the modern and well-serviced Portside Warf which offers a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Portside Warf is just 10 kilometres from Brisbane CBD, accessible by taxis, ferries and buses. Larger ships dock at Pinkenba Wharfon the other side of the Gateway Bridge.

Moreton Island

Who goes there: P&O.

Cruisers like: Moreton Island is just off the coast on Brisbane, boasting world class snorkelling with over 100 wrecks to explore, great bushwalking, and a mix of land and sea based activities for adrenaline junkies such as quad bikes, parasailing, kayaking. Wildlife is abundant here and you can feed wild dolphins from the island's resort.

Best for: Adventure seekers, first-time cruisers, families.

Getting around: Transport is via 4WD vehicles along the beach and sand roads.

Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast)

Who goes there: P&O, Seabourn, Carnival.

Cruisers like: New for cruise ships in 2015, the Sunshine Coast is becoming very popular. Well-known for its white sandy beaches, local boutiques and markets, as well as attractions such as Australia Zoo and UnderWater World. Get into the beach vibe with lunch at the surf club, try catching a few waves, or go for a dip at Mooloolaba Beach. If you cruise during winter make sure to book onto a whale watching trip to see the impressive animals up close as they migrate up and down the coast.

Best for: Beach bums, families, couples.

Getting around: Arrive by tender into the centre of Mooloolaba action.

Whitsundays (Airlie Beach/ Whitehaven)

Who goes there: Princess, Cunard, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Oceania, Regent and Oceania.

Cruisers like: Snorkelling, bush walking, and breath-taking views abound among the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. Visit world famous spots such as Whitehaven Beach, sail on a luxury catamaran, book a romantic helicopter trip or a private picnic in a secluded bay. Look out for dolphins, rays, dugongs, turtles, and an array of other marine life as you explore the above and below the water.

Best for: Water sports enthusiasts, thrill seekers, nature lovers.

Getting around: From your anchor point you will be tendered ashore to Airlie Beach, or out to the Great Barrier Reef. Tours are available on land and sea.

Hamilton Island

Who goes there: P&O, Azamara, Crystal, Seabourn, Holland America.

Cruisers like: One of the famous Whitsunday islands, this luxury resort offers everything from fine dining, to water sports, seaplane rides, and even a golf course on its own island. Want to stretch your legs? Walk to the island's highest point, Passage Peak, for panoramic views.

Best for: Families, couples, lovers of all things luxurious.

Getting around: There are no cars on Hamilton Island but you can easily walk between the main attractions, hire a golf cart, or take the free island shuttle. Catamaran or helicopter trips also available.

Fraser Island

Who goes there: P&O, Ponant.

Cruisers like: Like nothing else on earth, this huge World Heritage Listed sand island is the largest on the planet, and the only place where rainforest grows directly from the sand. Picture 260m high sand dunes, over 100 fresh water lakes, and miles of perfect sandy beach. There is lots of unique wildlife on the island including wild dingos and bird species. A popular attraction is the wreck of SS Maheno, washed ashore in a cyclone in the 1930’s.

Best for: Adventure seekers, nature lovers.

Getting around: Fraser Island has no sealed roads and transport is via 4x4 on the sand beaches.

Gladstone

Who goes there: P&O

Cruisers like: New for cruising in 2016, Gladstone offers a great range of tours for all passengers from wildlife and nature, to coffee cruises. Located on the southern Great Barrier Reef you can go snorkelling, relax on the beach, visit Heron Island, Lady Musgrave Island, or the picturesque coastal towns of 1770 and Agnes Waters. Passengers interested in local wildlife and conservation should visit the Quoin Island Rehabilitation Centre. Gladstone is perfect for cruisers who don’t like to venture too far from the ship with the Feast on East markets in the newly developed parklands next to the cruise terminal.

Best for: Wildlife spotting, avoiding the crowds.

Getting around: Just a few kilometres from town, the local attractions are easily accessible by foot from the cruise port.

Townsville

Who goes there: Holland America, P&O, Azamara, Regent, Oceania, Seabourn.

Cruisers like: Townsville is Australia’s largest tropical city and has over 300 dry sunny days a year. Boasting architecture dating back to the 1800’s, a casino, and museums, Townsville has something for everyone. Visit Magnetic Island for WWII remnants and wild koalas, the Gold Rush town of Charters Towers, or Australia’s largest national park on Hinchinbrook Island. There are also a wide range of sports and activities available including white water rafting, horse riding, bushwalking, golf, and fishing.

Best for: Sun seekers, history buffs, seafood lovers.

Getting around: The Port of Townsville offers a newly built cruise terminal just three kilometres from the centre of town which is a thirty-minute walk or a 5-10 minute taxi ride.

Cairns

Who goes there: Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Cunard, Celebrity, North Star, Coral Expeditions, Azamara, Ponant, Silversea, Regent, Oceania, Crystal, Seabourn, Holland America.

Cruisers like: Despite having grown in popularity and size over the years Cairns still has a village feel to it. Spend the day meandering along the Esplanade, get out into nature with a ride on the Kuranda Skyrail through the Daintree Rainforest, or take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to find out more about the area's history.

Best for: Snorkelers, divers, foodies, bushwalkers.

Getting around: Ships dock in the centre of Cairns so you can easily walk around town.

Yorkeys Knob

Who goes there: Cunard, P&O.

Cruisers like: A suburb or Cairns, just 15 minutes from the city centre. Activities include golf, windsurfing, sailing, exploring the Daintree Rainforest, or diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. Yorkeys itself has a marina with waterfront dining, world class kitesurfing conditions on one side of the headland, and ideal swimming beaches on the other.

Best for: Adventure seekers, water sports enthusiasts, beach bums.

Getting around: Passengers arrive at Yorkeys Marina by tender, all local attractions are within walking distance, but there are also taxis available, and a shuttle bus to Cairns.

Port Douglas

Who goes there: P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean.

Cruisers like: An hour north of Cairns, you have access to the same splendid assortment of natural attractions including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. On top of that you can enjoy Four Mile Beach, the yacht harbour and the local food, boutiques, and art galleries. Home to several luxurious resorts, Port Douglas has been known to attract Hollywood celebrities.

Best for: Celeb spotting, shopping, and outdoor adventures.

Getting around: Passengers will arrive into the Reef Marina, from here town is just a short walk away, there are also taxis and shuttles available.

Cooktown

Who goes there: Regent, Oceania.

Cruisers like: A small town full of history, great for activities such as snorkelling, horse riding, fishing, and hikingIts secluded location is what makes it a great place to visit. Think untouched lagoons, waterfalls, and beaches. Cooktown is also home to Australia’s oldest Botanic Gardens, and the moving rock tours which is regarded as one of the best indigenous art experiences in the country.

Best for: History buffs, outdoorsy types.

Getting around: The pier where the ships tender docks is walking distance to town, taxis are also available,

Thursday Island

Who goes there: Coral Expeditions, Azamara, Regent.

Cruisers like: One of the islands in the Torres Strait, 39 kilometres from the very tip of Australia off the coast of Cape York. This tiny island is just 3.5 kilometres square and hosts a range of wonderful cultural activities where you can learn more about the Torres Strait Island people, including the Torres Strait Historical Museum.

Best for: Culture vultures, nature enthusiasts.

Getting around: The small island is easy to walk around but there are taxis and rental cars available.

South Australia

The lovely state of South Australia is attracting thousands of cruisers with its fantastic vineyards and beautiful landscape. It’s a great destination for foodies and nature lovers, with cruise lines offering a range of shore excursions showcasing the best of this region.

During the 2017/18 cruise season, 67 cruise ships visited South Australia, with 37 calls made to Adelaide, 21 to Kangaroo Island and nine to Port Lincoln.

Some of the popular cruise itineraries involving SA include an Australian circumnavigation cruise, a Southern Ocean getaway from Fremantle to Sydney, a cruise from Adelaide to Melbourne taking in Tasmania and a 16-night cruise from Adelaide to New Zealand.

South Australia is famous for its wine and vineyards from the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley.

Barossa is the wine capital of Australia and home to large and small wine labels including Penfolds, Henschke, Jacob’s Creek and Wolf Blass. Celebrity chef Maggie Beer has a farm shop in the Barossa.

There are also more than 100 cellar doors in McLaren Vale, to the south of Adelaide, where you can also find gourmet produce such as hand-made cheese.

The Adelaide Hills are dotted with pretty towns, with gourmet food, cool-climate wines and galleries. Australian skincare brand Jurlique has its biodynamic farm at Mylor.

Adelaide is the gateway to the outback where you can explore the stunning Flinders Ranges and the iconic experiences at Coober Pedy, Lake Eyre and Birdsville.

Then there are nature-based adventures on Kangaroo Island and the spectacular west coast, from Port Lincoln to Ceduna.

Adelaide (Port Adelaide)

Adelaide is also known as the city of churches and there are lots to visit in the CBD. The South Australian Museum has a rich collection of natural history artefacts and Aboriginal culture and the neighbouring Art Gallery of South Australia has a diverse collections of Australian art and indigenous works. Adelaide Central Market is one of the country’s largest produce markets and well worth a visit. For a day at the seaside, take the tram to Glenelg, a lively suburb full of sidewalk cafes, restaurants and shops.

Best for: Families.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

Port Lincoln

At the base of the Eyre Peninsula, Port Lincoln is known for its fishing industry and seafood. It is also a good spot to swim with seas lions and tuna, or get the adrenalin pumping by diving with great white sharks in a cage. Visit an oyster farm at Coffin Bay to try the famous oysters straights from the sea, or sample Boston Bay Wines at the vineyard overlooking Boston Bay.

Best for: Adventure lovers.

Who goes there: P&O Cruises Australia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Kangaroo Island (Penneshaw)

Cruise ships stop at Penneshaw and tender passengers to the pier, which is an easy walk from the village. There are free shuttle buses to the beach and to Kingscote, the biggest town on the island. Walk along the beach and watch sea lions dozing in the sun after feeding at sea. This colony is one of the country’s most accessible. There is also a colony of New Zealand fur seals at Admirable Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. For the more adventurous, take a guided quad-bike tour of winding bushland trails and open grasslands and see kangaroos and other wildlife up close.

Best for: Intrepid travellers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Tasmania

Tasmania is already a popular cruise destination for Australia. With it’s amazing wildlife, great produce and restaurants, it is fast becoming an international destination as well.

Tasmania has almost everything for a truly Australian experience – from soaring mountains in national parks, stunning bays and beaches, gourmet food trails offering uncompromising cheese, wine, whisky and exceptional seafood.

One of the most visited and talked-about places is Cradle Mountain, part of the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian Wilderness, a 1262-sq-km national park. Tasmania’s highest peak, Mount Ossa at 1,617 metres and deepest lake, Lake St Clair are in the park.

Cradle Mountain is surrounded by glacial lakes, ancient rainforest and unusual alpine vegetation and is located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

There is plenty of opportunity for seeing wildlife, including wombats, wallabies and pademelons. Even platypuses and Tasmanian devils can be spotted.

Freycinet Peninsula is another one of Tasmania’s biggest drawcards. Pack a picnic and hike into the photogenic Wineglass Bay. The less adventurous can try the 500m boardwalk walk to Cape Tourville Lighthouse for sweeping coastal views of Wineglass Bay.

In Hobart, visit the waterside Salamanca Market, which is packed with fresh produce, ethnic food, clothing, souvenirs and bric-a-brac. The eclectic Saturday marketplace attracts buskers and artisans selling quirky arts and crafts. There are 300 stallholders and you can pick up anything from handmade woodcraft to jewellery. Surrounding the outdoor market are historic sandstone warehouses, home to Hobart’s cultural hub with cafes, galleries, restaurants and bars.

Tasmania has attracted big-name cruise lines, with the likes of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard, adding a competitive edge to cruises offered by P&O, Carnival and Princess.

Most cruises to Tasmania are between four to five nights calling at Hobart, Port Arthur and Burnie.

P&O Cruises Australia has a special cruise from Sydney to Hobart for the Dark Mofo festival in June. The itinerary has been offered for the past two years and includes the cruise as well as entry into the Museum of Old and New Art and a ticket to the Winter Feast, which celebrates the best of Tasmanian produce.

Hobart

The charming Tasmanian capital revolves round its harbour and the waterfront is bustling with restaurants and activity. Join a walking tour that takes in St David’s Cathedral, the old gaol and treasury sandstone buildings and Salamanca. At Salamanca Place, there’s a Saturday market, perfect for picking up a few local souvenirs. The heritage area at Battery Point offers an insight to Hobart’s maritime history and Arthurs Circus has well-preserved Georgian cottages. Beer lovers enjoy Cascade Brewery at the foothills of Mount Wellington, a five-minute drive from the city centre.

You can also explore the historic convict village of Richmond, home to Australia’s oldest Catholic Church and then visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to see kangaroos, koalas and the Tasmanian devil.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Burnie

The most westerly city in Tasmania, Burnie produces premium milk and some of the island’s best brie is made here. Most visitors head to The Cheese Shop for a tasting. You can also pick up fresh produce at the farm gate or sip whisky at the cellar door. Burnie is the gateway to the Cradle Mountain with its renowned walking tracks. There’s also the three-kilometre Fernglade Platypus Trail, one of the most reliable platypus viewing spots in Tasmania. Another good place to spot them is on the five-kilometre Latrobe Landcare walk along the Mersey River.

Best for: Nature lovers.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Silversea.

Port Arthur

The Isle of the Dead is an island cemetery located next to Port Arthur. It is divided into two sections, the higher northern end is the burial ground for respected military personnel while the lower end is for convicts. A tour of the historic site at night is not for the faint-hearted. Take a local wilderness cruise to see the coastline between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck for spectacular rock formations, waterfalls and caves carved by thousands of years of sea erosion. Bird watchers will be rewarded by the frequent sightings of sea eagles, albatross, gannets, peregrine falcons and cormorants. Don’t miss the Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck, a natural pattern of rectangular-shaped rocks that looks like a mosaic floor. It is easily accessible at low tide.

Best for: Families and friends.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Coral Expeditions, Cunard, Carnival Australia, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises.

Victoria

Victoria’s cruise industry is burgeoning. With Golden Princess homeported in Melbourne, soon to be joined Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, the state’s cruise industry is determined to put itself on the world map.

The three main cruise terminals are the Port of Melbourne, Geelong and Portland – the Port of Melbourne is close to the heart of the state’s capital and cruise itineraries visit the regional city of Geelong as well as the south west coastal city of Portland.

Melbourne’s labyrinthine laneways, its gastronomic culture, its eclectic fashion boutiques and its obsession with coffee are the state’s drawcards. The city also has some of the country’s best art galleries, quirky hidden bars, and great music venues. There is also an interesting mix of heritage buildings and modern cutting-edge architecture, which has resulted in some amazing streetscapes.

There’s a lot to do and see in Melbourne. Let’s start with Collins Street, which locals describe as the Paris end of town. Here branded boutiques such as Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton stand shoulder-to-shoulder. Wander down the street and head towards Federation Square, where you will either love or hate the architecture. The vibe, however, is infectious and the choice of restaurants, is unending.

Walk along the riverside promenade and you will soon arrive at Melbourne’s classy casino with its myriad choice of restaurants and high-end boutiques.

Food is an obsession among Melbournians. They love to eat at cool restaurants from Lebanese to Chinese to modern Australian. Shopping is another serious pastime. Here the choice is staggering from basic staples to eclectic boutiques in Brunswick Street for quirky but well put together fashion items.

But there’s more to see outside of the capital city and its fringes. Head to the Phillip Island Nature Park, 90 minutes from the CBD, to see the famous Penguin Parade. As well as seeing the little penguins, you can take a boat tour to visit a colony of fur seals.

On Mornington Peninsula, unwind with a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring, then savour the food and wine. Depending on the season, you can stop at a local strawberry farm or chocolate shop. If you have kids, visit the Enchanted Adventure Garden for some outdoor fun wandering through hedge mazes and obstacle courses.

Wine aficionados also enjoy the Yarra Valley. Stay overnight at a boutique vineyard and take an early morning balloon flight for some mesmerising views of the valley. Drop in for wine tastings at some of the cellar doors such as De Bortoli and Yering Station and then settle in for lunch at TarraWarra Estate.

If you have time, take to drive along the scenic Great Ocean Road to appreciate Victoria’s dramatic coastline and The 12 Apostles, amazing rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean.

Ports

Port Melbourne

Cruisers who don’t want to head into the city can relax at Port Melbourne beach, play beach tennis or take a 30-minute stroll along the waterfront to Sandbridge Lookout for some spectacular bay views. Try kart racing at Auscarts Racing, a popular racing circuit or explore Port Melbourne’s Bay Street, which has an abundance of cafes and boutiques. Garden City Reserve is a 10-minute walk and has shady trees, walking paths and a playground.

Best for: Families with kids

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

Geelong

The Waterfront esplanade has charming cafes and restaurants and restored art-deco-style sea baths. Be sure to have a seafood feast at a waterfront restaurant overlooking the sea. The port is considered the gateway to the Great Ocean Road.

Best for: Couples and families.

Who goes there: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn.

Portland

Rolling hills to the north, a scenic river region and a huge expanse of coastal beaches and cliffs surround historic Portland. From May to October, you can spot Southern Right Whales swimming close to the harbour.

Best for: Families.

Who goes there: Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Western Australia

Western Australia is fondly known as “the Wild West”. A massive expanse of land taking up nearly half of the continent, it morphs from quiet bays sprinkled with rounded rocks to plains patch-worked with vines, forests with some of the tallest trees in the world and hidden gorges harbouring jagged ochre formations. Nearly all the way along its coast, the marine-blessed state is fringed with travel-brochure-perfect beaches.

The state’s population of almost three million is concentrated in the fertile southwest corner, home to the Margaret River wine region and the capital Perth. In the north, the Kimberley region features ancient Aboriginal rock art, the Bungle Bungle sandstone domes and the pearling town of Broome.

WA offers some of the most extraordinary experiences, from swimming with the ocean’s largest fish, whale sharks, to exploring the world’s largest collection of wildflowers. There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers and they are a staggering sight to experience.

The lunar-like Pinnacles are one of Australia’s most amazing natural landscapes. Formed over a million years ago, thousands of limestone spires rise from the yellow desert sands of the Nambung National Park, outside the coastal town of Cervantes.

One of the WA’s most spectacular sights is to explore the outback into the heart of the last true wilderness areas in the world, the Kimberley. Follow the Gibb River Road and it will take you through to Australia’s iconic gorge and cattle country. You will also be able to experience one of the oldest surviving Aboriginal cultures on earth and see some of the oldest rock art. It’s best to go on an Aboriginal tour led by indigenous guides for a more memorable understanding of their history and culture.

There are seven cruise ports in WA starting with the major port of Fremantle, close to the capital city of Perth. Heading north to the Coral Coast, there are the ports of Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome while Port Hedland is in the northwest. Heading south, there is the port of Albany and Esperance on the far south coast allows you to explore some of WA’s best beaches and golden outback.

Albany

The coastal city has beautiful beaches, award-winning wines and fresh produce including yabbies, freshly shucked oysters and boutique goats cheese. You can spot migrating humpbacks and blue whales from the shore or on a whales-watching cruise.

Best for: Families and kids.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Silversea.

Broome

The white sands of the 22-kilomtre Cable Beach provide a dramatic backdrop for sunset camel rides. Broome’s historic Chinatown overlooks Roebuck Bay and is a jumping off point for cruises to the local pearl farms, and Broome Bird Observatory is one of the world’s great bird-watching destinations.

Best for: fun-loving couples.

Who goes there: APT, Coral Expeditions, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Silversea, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Esperance

This is a beach and nature lover’s hideaway. The landscape is filled with wildflowers in spring and the coast is lined with squeaky-white beaches. Visitors can explore rugged Cape Le Grand national Park or swim and snorkel from Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Beach. Passengers will be tendered to the pier where there is a free shuttle bus into town.

Best for: Families.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

Exmouth

Swimming with whale sharks in the Ningaloo Marine Park is a highlight for visitors from late March to late July. Snorkelling over the colourful reef straight from the beach is also a must. The surrounding Exmouth Cape Range National Park is renowned for its red rocky gorges and sheer cliffs and Mangrove Bay Lagoon is home to a variety of birds that roost and feed in the shallow waters.

Best for: Families and kids.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea.

Fremantle (Perth)

The lively city, affectionately known as Freo, has a buzzing alfresco “cappuccino strip” with cafes and pubs and the harbour precinct has a brewery serving fish straight from the fishing fleet. Historic Fremantle Market has 150 stalls selling fresh produce, local eats, jewellery, souvenirs and homewares. From Freo, you can take a ferry up the Swan River to Perth or out to Rottnest Island. It’s a 30-minute drive to Perth’s CBD.

Best for: Families and kids.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Regent Sevens Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Silversea.

Geraldton

Geraldton’s pristine beaches include Coronation Beach which has become a destination for international windsurfers. Nearby Kalbarri National Park is home to the ancient red sandstone gorges, dramatic sea cliffs and rolling sand plains – about 500 species of wildflowers bloom in the park from August to November. Point Moore Lighthouse with its red and white candy stripes is very much part of the coastal city’s landscape.

Best for: Intrepid couples and families.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

Port Hedland

From October to March, visitors can watch newly hatched flatback turtles make their way to the sea. During the winter months, follow the Pilbara Wildflowers trail by road and look for Sturt’s crimson-red desert pea and 65 species of wattle. The natural phenomena known as the Staircase to the Moon can be viewed from Cooke Point from March to October when the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats at low tide.

Best for: Adventure seeking travellers

Who goes there: Royal Caribbean.

south pacific

Still the most popular international destination for Aussie cruisers, the South Pacific’s wonderful white sandy beaches and clear blue waters and array of countries keeps drawing us back in.

The most popular destination in the South Pacific is Fiji. Popular for it’s wonderful, family friendly resorts, great diving and lovely locals, the island attracts around 630,000 holidaymakers a year.

Cruise lines such as P&O Cruises Australia, Carnival Australia, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruisea, Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal offer a variety of itineraries around the alluring tropical islands.

It’s just a day at sea, departing from Sydney or Brisbane and itineraries are generally at least seven days.

Vanuatu is famous for its volcanoes, diving hot spots and jungle treks to the massive Millennium Cave filled with waterfalls and bats.

New Caledonia is the third largest island in the South Pacific, and is home to some of the best coral reefs. The French-speaking island has a mix of Melanesian and French cultures.

Aside from Indian curries and kava – a beverage banned as a drug in some part of the world, Fijian cuisine is similar to other South Pacific countries and includes seafood, taro, rice and coconut milk.

 

American Samoa

American Samoa

American Samoa is still a relatively exotic cruise port, generally only part of round-the-world or trans-Pacific itineraries. Its small capital, Pago Pago is a quiet tropical outpost with limited facilities. Locals will head down to the waterfront to set up an impromptu market when a cruise ship arrives. The National Park of American Samoa is spread over three islands and offers hiking trails through rainforest as well as snorkelling and diving to see more than 950 species of fish and 250 species of corals.

 

Ports

Pago Pago

Pago Pago is the capital of American Somoa and the harbour is surrounded by a stunning mountain range. Populated by Polynesians for over 2,500 years, many historians believe that Pago Pago is the birthplace of Polynesian culture. Some of the highlights in Pago Pago include the Jean P. Haydon Museum of American Samoa which is a historic building. Or visit the handicraft centre which has items like hand-blocked tapa-print artifacts.

Best for: Couples and nature lovers.

Who goes there: Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

 

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is a nation in the South Pacific which consists of 15 islands. Rarotonga is the largest island and is home to rugged mountains as well as the capital, Avarua. In the capital, cruisers can shop for local handicrafts, perfumes as well as the black pearls, which the island is known for. The nation is famous for its snorkelling and scuba-diving sites because of its complex and diverse range of coral reef systems. Visit the Wreck of the Matai which is a popular diving site.

Ports

Rarotonga & Aitutaki

Just to the southwest of Tahiti, the Cook Islands are one of the quieter corners of the South Pacific. Made up of 15 islands scattered across clear blue water, the islands bask in sunshine almost year round and known for their unique white coral churches, pristine beaches and rugged jungle interiors. The most popular cruise ship port is Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands and home to the capital Avarua. Smaller ships can visit Aitutaki, regarded as one of the prettiest islands in the South Pacific and boasting what is widely considered to be the world’s best lagoon.

Best for: Beach and water lovers.

Who goes there: Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Ponant.

 

Fiji

It’s one of the most visited cruise destinations in the South Pacific and Fiji has more than 300 islands. It has rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and some of the most pristine coral reefs in the entire world. The major islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Because of its reefs, snorkelling and scuba diving are popular activities for visitors. Lines like Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, P&O Australia and Carnival Cruises Australia are regular visitor. The year-round tropical weather makes it popular among Australian and New Zealand cruisers – and it’s just a short sail from Brisbane and Sydney.

 

Ports

Nadi (Port Denarau & Lautoka)

Nadi, Fiji

Relax in a thermal mud pool in Sabeto Valley and visit the nearby Garden of the Sleeping Giant to see native Fijian plants and an impressive collection of orchids. The garden also has a jungle walk and Koroyanitu National Heritage Park has walking trails through forests and grasslands as well as traditional villages.

Best for: All ages.

Who goes there: Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, Carnival Australia, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Nobel Caledonia, Oceania Cruises, Paradise Adventures & Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Suva

Suva is the busiest and largest city in Fiji. The Fiji Museum has a fascinating collection dating back 3,500 years. The Colo-I-Suva Forest has hiking trails, swimming beaches and bird-watching spots. For handicrafts, woodcarving and woven items, visit the Government Handicraft Centre or the Bavari Handicrafts market where you can watch local artists making unique souvenirs. The beautiful Coral Coast stretches from Suva to Sigatoka, dotted with resorts, villages and beaches.

Best for: Families.

Who goes there: Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

The southwestern Pacific nation has some fantastic inland and active volcanoes. Like its neighbours, there are dense rainforests and hikinh routes, including the famous Kokoda Trail where many of Australian and Kiwi soldiers trekked during World War II. There are also some stunning coral reefs for divers and snorkellers. Lines like P&O have started to send cruise ships to this lovely region.

Ports

Alotau

Milne Bay is a lovely spot for snorkelling in clear water with myriad fish and other sea life. It was also the site of fierce fighting during WWII and tours take in places of interest including Wahuhuba Bay where the Japanese first landed. Alotau town has a small market.

Best for: History buffs.

Who goes there: APT, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

 

New Caledonia

Papua New Guinea

The French territory of New Caledonia has beautiful small islands including the Isle of Pines, and is also known for its palm-lined beaches and one of the world’s largest lagoons, which is rich in marine life. An extensive barrier reef surrounds the main island and like its neighbouring countries of Fiji and Vanuatu, New Caledonia is a scuba divers paradise. Many major cruise lines like P&O Australia, Royal Caribbean, Ponant and more visit the country. The capital Noumea is home to French-influenced restaurants and luxury boutiques selling Parisian fashion.

 

Ports

Noumea

Adventure seekers enjoy the Mont Koghi Nature trek, starting with a four-wheel drive ride followed by a walk in the rainforest. Take a Segway ride around Parc Zoologique et Forestier to see the cagou, a flightless bird which is the symbol of New Caledonia. Amedee Island Marine Reserve is a tiny coral atoll 18 kilometres south of Noumea where you can snorkel or see coral reefs and sea turtles from a glass bottom boat. The Tchou Tchou train traverses the city to Notre Dame de Pacific lookout, stopping at a couple of swimming hideaways including Lemon Bay beach.

Best for: Families.

Who goes there: Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Royal Caribbean.

 

Isle of Pines

Take a boat ride to Turtle Bay to see loggerhead and green turtles, swim in the clear waters or simply relax by the beach. The beautiful Cave of Queen Hortense is surrounded by rainforest and is one of the largest limestone caves on the island. Shop for souvenirs including sandalwood products at market stalls along Kuto Bay. The white sand beach and turquoise water of neighbouring Kanumera Bay is fringed by coral reef where snorkelers can view colourful fish.

Best for: Couples and families.

Who goes there: Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Samoa

Samoa

This country in Polynesia has many island that has reef-boarded beaches as well as rugged rainforests with gorges and waterfalls. Some of the islands include Upolu which is home to most of Samoa’s population. Some of the highlights include Lalomanu Beach and there are excellent spots for fishing, diving and surfing all along the coast. Hike through the lush rainforests to some dramatic waterfalls.

 

Ports

Apia

The capital of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), Apia is a modern, bustling waterfront hub with a number of colonial buildings, including Villa Vailima, the former home of author Robert Louis Stevenson, which is now a museum on the outskirts of town. Make sure you explore further afield as the islands are dotted with pristine beaches, waterfalls, swimming holes, lush jungles and tiny villages. O le Pupu-Pue National Park, the country’s first national park, is just 20 kilometres south of Apia.

Best for: Couples and nature lovers

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

 

Solomon Islands (Gizo & Guadalcanal)

Solomon Islands

Visitors can explore bustling waterfront markets, WWII historical sites and museums, or head inland for lush jungle, crashing waterfalls and ancient volcanoes. The capital, Honiara, is on the island of Guadalcanal and visitors receive a traditional welcome ceremony at Kakabona Cultural village. Gizo, the second largest town, is the hub of the Western Province. Gizo has excellent diving with clear water and brilliant coral. World War II sites can be visit by hiking or diving.

Best for: Divers and history buffs.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises.

 

Tahiti

Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and it’s shaped like a figure eight. With black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and two extinct volcanoes, it’s a popular destination for remote cruises. Papeete, on the north of the island, is the capital of French Polynesia and features on longer cruise itineraries around the Pacific. For a uniquely local experience, Aranui sails from the island and offers cruisers a once-in-a-lifetime experience onboard its half-cargo, half-passenger vessels. The crew on Aranui ships will take you to different parts of Tahiti as well as the Marquesas Islands. Passengers will meet locals and even help deliver cargo. It is a great way to experience the local cultures and food.

Best for: Nature lovers and couples.

Who goes there: Aranui, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gaughin Cruises, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Windstar Cruises.

 

Tonga

Tonga

This Polynesian kingdom consists of more than 170 South Pacific Islands, most of them uninhabited. These islands are lined with white beaches and coral reefs and many are also covered in tropical rainforests. The capital, Nukualofa has many beach resorts as well as plantations to discover. There is also a stunning coral gate which dates back to the 1200s.

 

Ports

Nukualofa & Vava’u

Captain Cook was given such a warm welcome when he landed in Tonga in 1773 that he named it the Friendly Isles. Not much has changed since for the population of just over 100,000. Polynesia’s sole surviving monarchy is a laid-back paradise of 170 islands scattered over 70,000 square kilometres of ocean just west of the international date line. Tonga is famous for whales and from July to October you’re almost guaranteed to see humpbacks.

Best for: Beach lovers and whale spotters.

Who goes there: Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

 

Vanuatu

Vanuatu

Vanuatu is made up of roughly 80 islands. One of the main attractions is scuba diving in underwater caverns and wrecks from World War II. The country’s capital is Port Vila where downtown is home to colourful market stalls selling produce and local handicrafts. Just near Port Vila is the Erakor Lagoon which has sandy white beaches and idyllic resorts. The shallow lagoon is a popular spot for snorkelling and kayaking.

 

Ports

Port Vila

Port Vila’s bustling downtown market is a vibrant spot where local women in brightly coloured dresses shop for fresh produce including king-sized bananas, papayas and mud crabs. Handicraft stalls sell scarves, t-shirts and colourful sarongs. At Mele Cascades water crashes down into small pools, some deep enough to swim in. For traditional culture, visit the Ekasup Village to watch demonstrations on the old ways of cooking, singing and hunting. The villagers dress in traditional garments made of palm leaves and grass skirts.

Best for: families.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean.

 

Mystery Island

This little gem at the southern tip of the Vanuatu archipelago can only be reached by ship. Surrounded by clear blue waters and sheltered by coral reefs, it is the perfect snorkelling and swimming hideaway. Ride a paddleboard and explore the surrounding bays. Enjoy a relaxing, traditional Vanuatu massage under a palm tree or in a thatched hut. Get your hair braided at a beachside village market which also sells trinkets and souvenirs. It only takes about 40 minutes to walk around the island.

Best for: Families with kids.

Who goes there: Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

antartica

Antarctica

High on the bucket list for many intrepid adventurers, Antarctica has long been considered the last frontier of exploration and, when it comes to cruising, represents the ultimate adventure at sea.

While an Antarctic cruise remains an exclusive experience – only about 40 ships visit and just 40,000 cruise passengers set eyes on the great white continent each year, some just from passing ships – a number of new ships and exciting itineraries are planned for coming seasons.

In the 2015/16 cruise season, the number of passengers stepping ashore rose to 30,000, up from less than 27,000 in the previous season. Two new ships are plying the waters and more Antarctic itineraries and shore excursions are being offered than ever before.

This remote, unpredictable region is one of very few cruise destinations impossible to visit as an independent traveller. It boasts superb landscapes of mountains and icebergs, abundant wildlife including penguins, whales and seals, and a fascinating history of seafaring and exploration.

Global warming is increasingly raising awareness of its environment. Wildlife watching is superb, either from the cruise ship, from Zodiacs, or on foot across the pack ice, and photography cruises are popular. Increasingly adventurous activities are being offered, including showshoeing, hiking, ski mountaineering, kayaking and even scuba diving.

Most cruises depart from Ushuaia or other South American ports to the Antarctic Peninsula, though occasionally ships sails from Fremantle in Western Australia or Port Elizabeth and Cape Town in South Africa. More notably, some cruises sail from Hobart or New Zealand ports to explore sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica’s Ross Sea region.

Best for: Adventurous cruisers, wildlife enthusiasts and keen photographers.

Who goes there: Abercrombie & Kent, APT, Active Travel, AdventureSmith Explorations, APT, Aurora Expeditions, Chimu Adventures, Heritage Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, Natural Habitat Adventures, Oceanwide Expeditions, Ponant, Poseidon Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, Scenic, Silversea.

new zealand

New Zealand is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for Australian cruisers.

More than 500,000 Aussies cruised to the land of the long white cloud and Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises as well luxury lines like Silversea, Seabourn and Crystal Cruises are all offering more New Zealand destinations.

Highlights include anchoring in Akaroa’s splendid bay and tendering ashore and sailing the Queen Charlotte Sound towards Picton. But all are surpassed by Milford Sound and its fellow fjords on the South Island’s east coast, some of the most dramatic landscapes you could possibly enjoy from the comfort of a cruise ship.

Waterfalls, wild cliffs backed by snowy peaks and, more often than not, moody mists make for great photo opportunities.

Some 30 ships visit New Zealand each season, either as part of trans-Pacific voyages or on New Zealand cruises from Australian ports. If you don’t want to brave the sometimes turbulent Tasman Sea, CMV's Columbus also has New Zealand-only cruises out of Auckland. Small-ship expedition lines such as Silversea, Ponant or local company Heritage Expeditions take more adventurous cruisers off the well-sailed waters by heading to New Zealand’s windswept sub-Antarctic islands such as Campbell Island and the Snares and Auckland islands.

New Zealand’s port towns also offer plenty of culture and history. You can learn about Maori traditions on shore excursions to Rotorua, or early contact with the Europeans at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the beautiful Bay of Islands region. Akaroa has unusual French colonial influences, Dunedin boasts a castle and whisky distillery straight out of Scotland, and Napier’s 1930s architecture recalls the American jazz age.

You’ll also find innovative, interactive museums and attractions – and of course some of the latest in adrenaline sports, as befits the nation that gave the world bungee jumping.

Wellington combines old-fashioned cosiness with avant-garde flair and a terrific, contemporary dining scene, and its Te Papa Museum is outstanding. Auckland has big-city attractions embedded in wild landscapes that create one of the world’s loveliest harbours.

The New Zealand cruise season runs from early October into late April, with December, January and February the peak months. Few ships visit at other times of year, since winters are chilly. New Zealand weather can be unpredictable even in summer and with 2,813 kilometres to navigate between its northernmost and southernmost islands, expect temperature changes. The Bay of Islands is subtropical, while destinations such as Dunedin or Stewart Island lie further south than Hobart.

 

Ports

Akaroa

Sailing into Akaroa’s sheltered bay is magnificent, providing views of deep inlets and sheep-nibbled hills. The region was settled by French explorers in 1840, which explains French street names and the patisseries that tempt with éclairs and macarons. There are 40-odd colonial-era cottages with well-kept gardens, a lighthouse, a history museum and an old French cemetery, plus craft shops and art galleries. The eccentric, mosaic-studded gardens of The Giant’s House are a delight.

Best for: Romantics, couples and cafe lovers.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Auckland

Auckland

With a magnificent harbour setting and landscape of ancient volcanoes, few major cities offer such wild beauty when arriving by ship. A visitor highlight is the ferry ride to the seaside suburb of Devonport, or a harbour walk along scenic Tamaki Drive to Saint Heliers, with splendid island views. The city also has great museums, shopping and dining. As evening falls, Ponsonby Road or the redeveloped waterfront at Viaduct Basin are favourite choices for a drink or casual meal. The Basin is a short walk from Queens Wharf cruise terminal.

Best for: Families, walkers, culture fans – and everyone else.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Christchurch (Lyttelton)

Christchurch

Christchurch is an innovative and forward-looking city striving to overcome its 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. View some of the earthquake-affected zones and learn how the city centre is being restored, but don’t imagine Christchurch has nothing else to offer. Wander along the Avon River through the lovely botanic gardens and visit the fascinating International Antarctic Centre near the airport. The city centre is alive with small shops and eateries.

Best for: Outdoor types and couples.

Who goes there: Hapag-Lloyd, Noble Caledonia, Ponant.

 

Dunedin

Dunedin

New Zealand’s fourth-largest city has great restaurants and shopping and a fascinating Scottish heritage – it even boasts a whisky distillery and kilt maker. Victorian-era architecture ranges from a landmark railway station to fancy Olveston Historic Home and imposing Larnach Castle. The city also has two excellent contemporary attractions: see how chocolate or ale is made at Cadbury World or Speight’s Brewery Heritage Centre. Otago Peninsula, often visited on shore excursions, has albatross colonies.

Best for: Architecture enthusiasts, history lovers, shoppers.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Heritage Expeditions, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

 

Napier

Napier

Napier is especially noted for its magnificent 1930s art deco architecture. The town is centred on fertile farmland, orchards and river valleys and sits in the middle of the Hawke’s Bay wine region. Nearby Cape Kidnappers is renowned both for golf and gannet colonies.

Best for: Golfers and history buffs.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

 

Nelson

Nelson

Nelson is a delightful arts-and-crafts town full of galleries, glass-blowers and fashion designers. The surrounding region is noted for sunny weather, rolling vineyards, beer production and mountain scenery. Several national parks such as Abel Tasman lure adventurous visitors for hiking, kayaking and caving. Kahurangi National Park features prominently as a backdrop in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Best for: Shoppers, nature enthusiasts and hikers.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Noble Caledonia, Oceania Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.

 

Picton

Picton harbour

Scenic sailing in and out of Picton at the head of the island-studded Queen Charlotte Sound has passengers glued to the decks. The town has an interesting little maritime museum and plenty of craft shops. Shore excursions head inland to the wineries of the Marlborough region and the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

Best for: Scenery and wildlife lovers, wine enthusiasts and walkers.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Tauranga

Tauranga

Ships dock at Mount Maunganui, a popular beach holiday village. Beaches, headland walks, saltwater pools and village-style shopping are a stroll away. It’s also the jumping-off point to visit Rotorua’s geysers, mud pools, hot springs and Maori cultural attractions.

Best for: Anyone who likes scenery, walking and beaches.

Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Heritage Expeditions, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Waitangi, Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

Waitangi is surrounded by indented coastline, offshore islands and shimmering bays, and was the first part of New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. It combines spectacular scenery and water sports such as sailing, kayaking and dolphin spotting with Maori culture and history, including New Zealand’s first capital Russell and the Treaty of Waitangi museum.

Best for: Nature and ocean lovers, history buffs.

Who goes there: APT, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Wellington

Wellington

Though a modest capital, Wellington has plenty of energy and a surprisingly avant-garde attitude. Take the famous red cable car from downtown to admire views, then walk down through the Botanic Gardens. The city’s highlight is the superlative Te Papa Museum, with interactive, high-tech exhibits tracing New Zealand geology, history and wildlife. Surrounding excursions take you to wineries and The Lord of the Rings movie locations.

Best for: Food and coffee lovers, museum goers, shoppers and families.

Who goes there: APT, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Australia, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Ponant, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea.

 

Stewart Island

Stewart Island

Stewart Island lies off the south coast of South Island and features wild beaches, rainforest and windswept hills. It has few facilities and passengers must tender from ships. Hiking, fishing, kayaking and exploring Rakiura National Park and its unusual flora and wildlife (including abundant kiwis) are the reasons to visit.

Best for: Nature and wildlife lovers.

Who goes there: Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Heritage Expeditions, Noble Caledonia, P&O Cruises Australia, Seabourn, Silversea.

With its iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Sydney is Australia's cruise gateway and one of the world's most beautiful ports of call. Sydney Harbour is the only port in Australia with two dedicated cruise passenger terminals – the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay and White Bay Cruise Terminal at Balmain.Both of Sydney’s terminals are managed by Port Authority of New South Wales.

With over 340 cruise ships scheduled to visit this cruise season, Sydney’s cruise terminals see over 1.6 million passengers go through their doors each year.

But before you kick back and relax on the open ocean, here’s some information about our terminals and some helpful tips to make sure you cruise in and cruise out with ease.

Video guides to Sydney’s terminals

    • Overseas Passenger Terminal

Watch our video for everything you need to know about your checking-in at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

    • White Bay Cruise Terminal

Watch our video for everything you need to know about your checking-in at White Bay Cruise Terminal.

Overseas Passenger Terminal: Getting there

The Overseas Passenger Terminal is located on the corner of Argyle and George streets, Circular Quay West, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Road: Access the terminal drop off area via George Street or Hickson Road.

Rail: Circular Quay train station is only a few minutes’ walk away and connects you to the whole city network, including the airport train line.

Taxi: Pick-up/drop-off is right outside the terminal.

Ferry: Circular Quay ferries are a short walk away.

Coach transfers: You will be directed to the pick-up point.

White Bay Cruise Terminal: Getting there

White Bay Cruise Terminal is located at 2041 James Craig Rd, Rozelle, Sydney, NSW 2039

Road: Access on cruise days is only via The Crescent / James Craig Road and NOT by Robert Street in Balmain. Download this map for directions.

Taxi: Pick-up/ drop-off is right outside the terminal. Please advise your driver to arrive via The Crescent / James Craig Road.

Ferry: Captain Cook Ferries run a cruise-day service between King St Wharf, Barangaroo and White Bay.

Coach transfers: You will be directed to the pick-up point.

Arriving and checking in

Your cruise line will advise you of your check in time — make sure you arrive with plenty of time to drop your bags off and check in.

Drop off your bags at the bag drop and head to security screening. Just like an airport, you’ll need government-issued identification. Passport is best but on a domestic cruise, an Australian driver’s licence or equivalent is ok.

If you’re not sure what you can or can’t bring on board, please contact your cruise line.

Terminal facilities

Information: Sydney Destination Ambassadors will be on hand for international arrivals to offer local information.

Food and drink: There are cafes and other eating optionsin and around our terminals.

Parking: There are no long-term parking facilities at our terminals. OPT has a drop off/pick up spot and White Bay Cruise Terminal has short-stay parking for those meeting/dropping off passengers

Luggage: There are no luggage storage facilities at our terminals. Ask your cruise line for bag drop-off open times.

Assistance: Please let your cruise company know if you require wheelchair access.

Cruise schedule

Use our cruise schedule to find out the latest arrival and departure times for all cruise ships visiting Sydney.

River Cruising

Discovering inland cities and town by river delivers an immersive exploration of the wondrous waterways of Europe, Asia and beyond.

While Europe is still the grand dame of river cruising, with majestic waterways punctuated by historic towns and cities, castles and gorgeous countryside, there are now more exciting destinations than ever before.

Asia's Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia, Myanmar's Irrawaddy and China's mighty Yangtze all host a growing number of vessels specially designed for the region.

The Nile, the Ganges and Brahmaputra are also attracting more ships, while the Amazon has luxury and adventure cruising.

And who can forget the stately paddle steamers of the Mississippi?

There is certainly a lot of choice. We've detailed some of the best known places here.

north america

A bit of Gone with the Wind – think paddle steamers winding their way along the Mississippi, the brilliant music and nightlife of New Orleans, Cajun and creole cooking and plantation tours.

Cruises go though 10 states in 22 days, experiencing life as it once was on the western frontier. Memphis, known for blues and barbecue, is one of the Mid-South's most vibrant cities. You’ll glide past the Gateway Arch Riverfront in St. Louis, see Hannibal, the hometown of the famous author Mark Twain and his character Huck Finn. Wildlife includes bald eagles, beavers and great blue herons.

The Mississippi is joined by the Columbia and Snake rivers as the main cruise destinations.

Best for: history buffs and those who want a more relaxed and different American holiday.

Who cruises there: American Cruise Lines, American Queen Steamboat Company, Uncruise.

south america

Adventure, luxury and fabulous wildlife has made South America one of river cruising’s most desirable destinations. The mighty Amazon originates in Peru, and the Amazon Basin is a vast ecosphere the size of Western Europe. From ultra-luxe cabins you can see untamed rainforests, pink dolphins and indigenous Bora people, adorned in body art, feather headdresses and clothing made from bark.

Best for: Discerning cruisers who like to view life on the wild side while sipping the best vintage in the outdoor Jacuzzi, or adventure seekers who want to watch Piranhas nibble their toes.

Who goes there: Avalon Waterways, Abercrombie & Kent, APT, Aqua Expeditions, Delfin Amazon Cruises, International Expeditions, Smithsonian Journeys, Anakonda Amazon Cruises.

europe

Europe is the quintessential river cruise destination. From Christmas markets and castles in the air to glowing fields of Dutch tulips, when you think of river cruising, you think Europe. This is Game of Thrones come to life.

As you glide through myriad waterways – Europe has more navigable rivers than any other region in the world – every town or city beckons with enrichment and experiences straight from the history books.

There are literally hundreds of exclusive experiences, from conducting an orchestra in Vienna to lunches and dinners hosted by the aristocratic owners of castles and chateaus.

Then there are the great restaurants, fine wineries. A few things to know about European river cruising: the locks mean all the ships are the same size, even though amazing design and technology means they can offer different benefits (pools, spas, balconies, restaurants).

And a word of warning: the season typically runs from April to October, and heavy rain and spring flooding can make the rivers swell and the locks impassable. During long dry periods, low water can be a problem. If vessels can’t move, you’ll be taken to the sights by motor coach or, if the logistics allow, moved to another ship further along the river.

European river cruising has it all: great scenery, history, food and wine, shore excursions, culture and art. Watch out for high season crowds and problems over the weather.

Best for: A great way to get a European taster, and Europe has some of the best themed cruises anywhere, from gastronomy to history, to great gardens and historic mansions and castles.

Who cruises there: Just about everyone. Among the best are APT, Avalon Waterways, Crystal River Cruises, Travelmarvel, Croisi Europe and Evergreen.

Rhine

It’s the river where most new cruisers start, and at 776 miles in length boasts more castles than any other. The Rhine runs through some of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany. The Rhine Gorge is renowned for its beauty. The most popular Rhine cruise is a one-week sailing between Amsterdam and Basel, or vice versa.

Danube

This is Europe’s second longest river behind the Volga, and perhaps still owes a little bit to Johann Strauss for its fame. It flows through 10 countries and includes such landmarks as the Black Forest in Germany, the Black Sea in Romania and Vienna, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria on the way. The most popular itineraries are one-week sailings between Budapest in Hungary and Passau in Germany. Budapest, divided in half by the Danube and spanned by the landmark 19th-century Chain Bridge, is packed with history and culture. Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart AND location for The Sound of Music.

Rhone

One of Europe’s major rivers, the Rhone rises in the Swiss Alps and passes through Lake Geneva and Southeastern France before it arrives at the Mediterranean Sea. If you like food and wine, this is the river for you, as it sails through France’s food heartland of Provence and Burgundy.

Seine

This river flows through Paris and on to the English Channel. Wartime cemeteries and the Normandy landing beaches often feature in itineraries. The start of cruises on this river often provide passengers with some of the best views in town of the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower (make sure you line offers these, as some dock elsewhere). You usually get one night in Paris with a guided tour taking in the main sights, plus free time to shop before your journey through the gorgeous scenery toward the Normandy coast. You’ll pass Rouen, known as the “City of a Hundred” due to its towering churches. Joan of Arc was notoriously burned at the stake here in 1431. Seine cruises almost invariably offer full-day excursions to D-Day landing beaches, such as Omaha, Juno and Gold.

Douro

Portugal’s Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic in Porto, home to port wine, is now a major cruise destination. There is only one itinerary: a 130-mile, seven-night sailing from Porto to Vega de Terron, where river is un-navigable, to Porto. Most cruises begin or end with an overnight stay in the UNESCO World Heritage city. The Douro contains five dams including the landmark Carrapatelo, the world’s deepest lock. No night-time navigation is permitted on the Douro, and river ships are smaller and more intimate.

Elbe

This river runs from the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea, including the cities Berlin and Prague at the start and end of the cruise. There is also the beautifully restored city of Dresden and the town of Meissen, well known for its fine porcelain.

egypt

Buffeted by several terrorist incidents, the river cruise potential of the Nile has been seriously hit and many lines have been forced to stop offering this exotic itinerary. The colourful bazaars and temples and, of course, the pyramids are the reward for those following in Cleopatra’s footsteps. The most common cruises are four- or five-day journeys between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.

Best for: Those who love adventure and history.

Who goes there: Abercrombie & Kent, APT, Movenpick, Oberoi, Peregrine Adventures, Sanctuary Retreats, Uniworld, Viking.

russia

Eleven of Russia’s largest cities are on the banks of the Volga, Europe’s longest river, which flows to the Caspian Sea. Voyages go from Moscow to St Petersburg, a jaw-dropping, beautiful city of five million which features gold-domed palaces and enormous cultural heritage.

The Svir River connects Europe's two largest lakes with a stop in St Petersburg.

For cruisers who like history, culture and art, a Russian river cruise is a no-hassle way to see some of the finest cities in Russia. There are many good lines now operating these waterways, but watch out for older ships which don’t have the same facilities as newer vessels.

Best for: History buffs and those who appreciate architecture.

Who goes there: APT, CroisiEurope, Uniworld, Viking Oceans.

india

India has long been on our to-do destination list. Now, with the growth of river cruising along the Ganges, there is an easy and hassle-free way to explore one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Several of the major lines now offer luxury cruises – including TravelMarvel and Uniworld – as well as excellent local operators such as Heritage River Cruises. This is an elegant way to see some of the grandest scenery anywhere in Asia, with easy shore excursions to palaces, bazaars and museums. Travelling from Calcutta (Kolkata) you’ll see Mother’s Teresa’s house, terracotta temples, palaces and bustling cities. It is believed that a dip in river Ganga can wash away all your sins. You’ll see pilgrims on the banks the river offering flowers, vermilion and sweets. The best time to go is October to March. In the country’s southwest, the stately thatched-roofed houseboats of Kerala are offering a very different cruising experience, and the Indian government is planning to develop 450 kilometres of waterways offering trekking, wildlife safaris and river rafting.

Best for: Those who love adventure and cultural experiences.

Who goes there: APT, Avalon Waterways, Travelmarvel, Pandaw, Uniworld.

china

China’s mighty Yangtze River takes in this amazing country’s best and biggest cities. The itineraries between Beijing and Shanghai or Beijing to Hong Kong are stunning, and feature Xian, Chongqing and the Three Gorges dam project.

Make sure you travel with a company providing good English-speaking guides (lines from Australia are best). They will offer some great experiences such as tai chi lessons, Chinese cooking classes, calligraphy and silk embroidery classes.

Cruisers will be amazed by the sheer spectacle of projects like The Three Gorges dam, ultra-modern Shanghai and the fabulous food and cultural experiences.

Best for: adventure seekers, food lovers and those who like immersion in culture.

Who goes there: APT, Travelmarvel, Victoria Cruises, Helen Wong, Wendy Wu.

south east asia

Asian river cruising is now one of the hottest, most vibrant destinations for Australian and New Zealand cruisers, with the Mekong (Vietnam and Cambodia) and Irrawaddy (Myanmar) offering an amazing array of local and international luxury journeys. From food tours to cultural emersion, where passengers get to stay with local families, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar have been burnishing their cruise offerings. And to good effect. Many Australian lines now own and operate ships on these rivers – and the competition means there are some great offers.

River cruising has opened up otherwise troublesome destinations to book and navigate, making the breathtaking beauty of the temples along the riverbanks, the friendly people and delicious food easy to experience.

The Mekong is the world’s 12th longest river and runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. There are some fabulous itineraries from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap or Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.

On the Irrawaddy, you can travel from Yangon to Mandalay, taking in the golden-domed temples on the riverbanks and royal palaces and monuments.

Best for: Anyone interested in exploring these beautiful countries in comfort.

Who goes there: APT, Avalon Waterways, Evergreen, Pandaw, Travelmarvel, Uniworld, Viking.

Cabins

To the most luxurious suites in the world, to family accommodation, cruise ships have it all. Like hotels, cruise lines have accommodation for those who want to splurge, to those who are looking at something on a budget. Regent Seven Seas, Seven Seas Explorer is hailed as one of the most decadent ships at sea - the Regent Suite is priced at US$5,000 a night and has two bedrooms and even a grand piano. But if you’re travelling as a solo, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean offer solo cabins where you can meet and mingle with other singles.


Exclusive Area

These VIP sections of ships are for the cruisers who are either members of the line’s cruise clubs, or who pay extra to gain access. Companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Dream Cruises are renowned for these exclusive areas. Norwegian has The Haven where guests get their own entrance. This is also where the most luxurious suites are and guests who are staying in this area have their own sundeck. There is also a personal concierge as well as 24-hour butler service throughout your cruise. Guests will also get priority embarkation, disembarkation, boarding on tenders to shore, onboard entertainment and dining times. Dream Cruises has its own VIP section called the Dream Palace where guests have access to their own gym, dining room as well as casino. Other lines such as MSC Cruises also have similar perks.

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Balcony & Oceanview

Balcony cabins are great for cruisers who don’t want to break the bank with a suite, but still want to make the most of the sea views. Lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, P&O, Carnival and Princess have spacious balconies where guests can take in the sea view or even enjoy breakfast. But if you want to save a little bit more, you can opt for an oceanview cabin which still gives you views of the sea without a balcony. Both cabin types traditionally have either twin beds or a queen-sized bed as well as a desk, wardrobe and private bathroom.

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Solo

For solo travellers, a number of ocean cruise lines have specific cabins for singles. Norwegian Epic has 128 solo studio cabins which are smaller than standard cabins. These include a single bed, writing desk, wardrobe and private bathroom. The line even has a special bar just for solo cruisers. While all studios are interiors, they look out onto the corridor. Holland America Line’s Koningsdam has 12 solo cabins, ranging from 12 to 16 square metres. And on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, there are solo cabins with virtual-reality “windows” showing images of the ocean and ports. CMV offers 150 twin cabins at a solo traveller rate on each cruise aboard its ships, Columbus and Magellan. And on Vasco da Gama, there are 40 twin cabins for solos.

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Suites

Cruise lines offer some of the most palatial suites in the world. The Crystal Penthouse aboard Crystal Serenity has a living room, den, dining area with ocean view, two bedrooms and a butler’s pantry. Guests in the penthouse can have their clothes cleaned in their own personal laundry. The master bedroom has a heated marble bench in the glass shower and you can watch your favourite television shows on your flat-screen TV. Other lines like Royal Caribbean have some amazing accommodation, including slides for the kids right in the middle of the two-storey suite. Guests also get a “Genie” to fulfil their wishes (whether it is a special shore excursion or experience, or bags of your favourite potato chips).

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Interior

Perfect if you don’t wish to spend a lot of time in your cabin, or you have a family of two children, interior cabins are the most affordable on cruise ships. While they don’t have a window or any view of the ocean, it is one of the best ways to save money on a cruise. The configuration of a queen-sized bed or two twin beds plus two bunks is perfect for a family with young children. The cabins also have a wardrobe and private bathroom.

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A holiday to remember

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Music Cruises

Cruiseco Music Cruises

8,000 music lovers come together each year to combine their passion of travel with music across our Music Cruises! In partnership with Choose Your Cruise and Artist Network, Cruiseco has curated these festivals at sea since 2011 covering numerous genres and headlining acts from the Village People, John Farnham, KC & The Sunshine Band, Foreigner, Lee Kernaghan and more!

Book today to experience for yourself why these departures sell out year on year.

Food

The days of boring buffets are gone from cruise ships (don’t worry, the ship buffet is still excellent), but now cruise lines are innovating their food offerings. You’ll find celebrity chefs like Jacques Pepin teaching a culinary course or Luke Nguyen leading you through the Ho Chi Minh City. Or Jamie’s Italian onboard Royal Caribbean ships, Curtis Stone on Princess Cruises and Nobu Matuhisa on Crystal Cruises. There are some awesome bars on cruise ships as well – Penfolds and Johnnie Walker have watering holes on Dream Cruises ships, Royal Caribbean has a bar manned by robot arms or Celebrity Cruises’ martini bar. While Cruise & Maritime Voyages, you can dine on traditional Indian fare at Fusions where the crew cook dinner in a traditional tandoor oven.


Celebrity Chefs

Cruise lines are elevating their culinary standards by partnering with celebrity chefs and offering guests amazing dining experiences that you might believe you can only get on land. With offerings from famous Aussie chefs and Michelin-star restaurateurs, specialty dining has become a major attraction on the high seas.

In local waters, Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone has teamed up with Princess Cruises to create SHARE, featuring the best Australian produce. Luke Mangan has a long-standing partnership with P&O Cruises Australia and has Salt on board the entire Aussie fleet, except the new Pacific Explorer which has Mangan’s new burger restaurant.

On the international fleet, famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa who is renowned for his delicate flavours has restaurants aboard Crystal Cruises ships. Marco Pierre White holds culinary classes aboard P&O Cruises UK’s Britannia, which also has desserts by French patisserie Eric Lanlard. On Dream Cruise’s Genting Dream Sydney chef Mark Best combines the best of Western and Asian flavours at Bistro. And Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian is a big hit on board Royal Caribbean ships where guests can feast on freshly made pasta and charcuterie boards with salami and mortadella.

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Food schools

The immersive and enrichment programs some cruise lines offer include food schools. These are increasingly popular with lines such as Windstar, Oceania Cruises and APT offering dedicated food cruises. In Vietnam, Sydney chef Luke Nguyen will take you ashore in Ho Chi Minh City to the markets he so fondly remembers. Chef Nguyen will take you to his favourite produce stalls as well as a visit to his aunt who still works in the market. Jacques Pepin, culinary director for Oceania Cruises, hosts cruises where guests can learn how to cook under the master himself. Windstar also has specialty food cruises in partnership with the James Beard Foundation Culinary Collection. Participants visit local markets with the chefs and also have the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants around Europe.

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Specialty dining

As an alternative to the main dining room, cruise lines have upped the ante with the food offerings across their fleets. While they may cost extra, it’s not a significant amount, especially as some lines have partnered with some of the world’s best chefs who charge hundreds of dollars for similar meals ashore. Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York charges US$340 for the Chef’s Tasting Menu while his restaurant on Seabourn Encore is at no additional charge. Guests on Carnival’s ships in Australia and in the US can try burgers by the king of American barbecue Guy Fieri. Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and many other lines have other specialty dining options. Some of the favourites include The Crown Grill on Princess’ ships, Royal Caribbean’s Japanese restaurant Izumi, which serves fantastic sushi and sashimi, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Brazilian-style Moderno Churrascaria. On Royal Caribbean’s larger ships, you’ll find an array of small eateries such as the Kung Fu Panda Noodle House, priced from just US$2. CMV offer specialty dining options like The Grill and Fusion, a traditional Indian restaurants for a fee.

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Bars

There are just as many watering holes aboard cruise ships these days as there are restaurants. Dream Cruises’ specialty bars include a Johnnie Walker Whisky Bar where guests can sample some of the brand’s finest whiskies.

At Carnival’s Alchemy Bar guests can tailor their own cocktails by filling out a “prescription pad” of their favourite spirits and flavours. The cocktail waiter will then “prescribe” the perfect drink. On certain Norwegian ships, you can drink at the Svedka Ice Bar where the specialties include the famous Inniskillin ice wine and Svedka citrus vodka. You can sit on an icy throne and drink from ice glasses.

For a bit of fun, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum and Oasis class ships have the Bionic Bar on board where guests can watch their drinks being shaken and stirred by robotic arms. Just key in your flavours and the robotic bar tender will make your drinks.

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Activities

The days of skeet-shooting off the back of your ship are gone. There are now activities which cater to everyone of all ages. Whether you like thrill seeking activities like zip lining across your cruise ship, or spending the day getting pampered in the spa, modern day cruise ships have it all. Royal Caribbean, known for its amazing technologically advanced ships, have activities like the steepest slides at sea, rock climbing as well as surfing. Other lines like Crystal Cruises have lovely spa facilities.


Thrillseeking

Cruise ships have fantastic options for guests who are looking for thrill seeking activities. The lines are becoming more cutting edge and innovative in keeping guests entertained on board and ships have become destinations in themselves. Aboard Carnival Spirit is one of the fastest and steepest waterslides at sea, the Green Thunder. On Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy, there’s a two-storey go-kart race track where guests can race against one another. There is also a laser tag course designed to look like an abandoned space ship – pretty cool. The P&O fleet has P&OEdge, a program where guests can try activities such as ziplining, Segway rides, trampolining and more. On Royal Caribbean ships, guests can catch a wave on a surf simulator, slide down one of the steepest slides in the world, The Ultimate Abyss (shaped like a terrifying angler fish), or try the iFly sky-diving simulator. Aboard MSC Cruises ships, guests can try their hand at simulated race car driving in a Formula 1 car.

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Relaxing

For some rest and relaxation, cruise lines offer the best services for pampering. Celebrity Cruises has one of the largest spas at sea. The famous spa brand, Canyon Ranch offers its services aboard the Celebrity fleet. On Celebrity Solstice, which regularly sails in Australian waters, guests can rest in the Persian Garden thermal suite which has hot and cold rooms as well as a Turkish bath. Seabourn has four penthouse spa suites aboard Seabourn Odyssey for guests wanting a spa vacation at sea. The 50 square metre luxury suites have an expansive private verandah and a spiral staircase leading to the spa lobby. Guests have unlimited access to the spa’s relaxation areas, amenities and services of the spa concierge. On Crystal Cruises’ ships, the Crystal Spa has services such as aroma stone therapy treatments and a Japanese silk booster facial.

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Fitness

To beat the bulge, there are plenty of activities to do on board your ship. Norwegian Cruise Line’s FightKlub, available on Breakaway class ships is a group boxing class using punching bags. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom and Oasis class ships offer boxing lessons with an experienced coach in a full-size ring (extra fees apply). Yoga, Pilates and morning stretching classes are offered by many cruise lines including Carnival Cruises Australia, Disney cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Azamara Club Cruises and Crystal Cryises. Celebrity ships offer a special program with seven different types of yoga. On Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, you can fly through the air at circus school. If you’re into dancing, lines such as P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises offer ballroom dancing classes.

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Entertainment

Big lights, bright city – no it’s not New York, it your cruise ship. Partnering with Academy Award winning producers and directors, ships have some amazing shows. Princess Cruises partnered with Tony Award-winning director and producer, Stephen Schwartz to create a special show exclusive to the line, Magic to Do. P&O’s brand new show onboard Pacific Explorer, Love Riot features the hottest young acts from around the globe performing circus stunts, all in some racy leather and latex.


Broadway Shows

Lines such as Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Seabourn have collaborated with some of the biggest names in Broadway to create exciting onboard entertainment.

Royal Caribbean stages classic musicals, including hits like Grease, We Will Rock You, Cats, Mamma Mia, Hairspray and Saturday Night Fever.

Princess Cruises has worked with Tony-award winning director and producer Stephen Schwartz, known for musicals like Wicked, Godspell and Pippin. Schwartz created Magic to Do specially for Princess and it performed on Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.

Oscar award-winner Tim Rice has created a show for Seabourn. An Evening with Tim Rice is a concert-style presentation narrated via video by Rice to highlight some of his most loved work – from Jesus Christ Superstar to Aladdin and The Lion King.

On Norwegian Cruise Line, you'll find the hit musical Jersey Boys on Norwegian BlissPriscilla Queen of the Desert on Norwegian Epic and Million Dollar Quartet on Norwegian Getaway.

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21st Century Entertainment

The entertainment aboard cruise ships is changing. While Broadway shows are still a big hit, cruise lines now have innovative shows that go above and beyond what you’d expect at sea.

On the Aussie Pacific Explorer, Love Riot, created by Scott Maiden, is a risqué burlesque show that includes circus performances. There are sexual innuendos throughout the show while the dancers perform provocative moves in tight latex bodysuits with dildos and blowup dolls.

On Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships, guests can watch divers leap from platforms 60 feet in the air into tiny pools of water at the Aqua Theatre. The divers also perform amazing synchronized routines underwater. Also onboard some Royal Caribbean ships is the amazing Two 70 theatre where performers sing and dance against 18 projectors on robotic arms.

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Enrichment

With speakers ranging from politicians to professional mermaids, cruise lines offer seminars on board many of their ships. Dream Cruises hosted Mermaid Kat recently; a real-life professional mermaid who was formerly Miss Germany. She is also a free diving instructor, scuba instructor and underwater stunt woman who travels the globe educating people about the importance of the ocean. Silversea hosted Australian author Thomas Keller, who penned the novel Schindler’s Ark, which was adaptd into the Academy Award-winning movie Schindler’s List. Seabourn hosted former prime minister Julia Gillard on one of their Australian cruises.

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Comedy & Live Music

Cruise lines employ some of the best musicians from around the world to entertain their guests.

P&O Cruises Australia has local talent playing in all of their bars in the evening – perfect during cocktail hour. You’ll find everything from jazz and blues to rock bands to soloists and pianists scattered throughout your ship. Most large ocean liners will have entertainment in the atrium every evening.

Comedy skits are also extremely popular, especially the adult performances. Famous American comedian Chris Tucker, who has appeared in the Rush Hour movie series, has performed skits on some of Carnival Cruise Line’s ships sailing in the United States.

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Themed Cruises

Whether you’re a Walking Dead fan or a crossword-puzzle enthusiast, there sure to be a cruise where you can mingle with fellow fanatics. A number of cruise lines offer themed itineraries, including music themes where you’ll get to listen to your favourite artists on board. If you love food, you can travel the globe with some of the world’s best chefs. This year, you can also get in touch with your spiritual side with a cruise on Carnival Glory. There will be guided meditation sessions, astrology classes and tarot card readings. There are also golf cruises with SeaDream, NFL cruises with Princess Cruises and P&O offers cruises to the Melbourne Cup.

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Kids

Cruising is one of the best ways for the entire family – mums and dads can get some rest and relaxation and the kids can take advantage of the multitude of activities on offer onboard. Lines like Royal Caribbean, P&O Australia, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line not only have some of the best new rides and facilities but some fantastic kids’ clubs where the children can make friends. From rock climbing, to go-karting to arts and craft, there will be something for the adventurous, the science whiz and the creative. Cruise lines also cater for every age – from six months to teens. Check out what your kids can do on your next cruise.

Activities

Lines sailing around Australia and the world offer kids a variety of experiences. For the kids, Royal Caribbean have features like surfing and sky diving simulators, bumper cars and arcade games. Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation means fun parades and lots of cool activities. It would not be out of the ordinary to find Shrek wandering past the buffet, or Po from Kung Fu Panda practicing his moves at one of the themed dance parties. The all Aussie cruise line, P&O has introduced the very popular P&OEdge Advenutre park which features 20 different activities utilising parts of the ship including the funnel for rock climbing. Kids can also zipline from one end of the ship to the other. On the new Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, the company has built a two-storey go-kart race track which will definitely keep the kids entertained. The line has also built a laser tag course for the entire family. On a Disney Cruise Line ship, kids can watch daily Disney musicals and take part in themed costume parties like Pirate night, hosted by the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Kids Club

Lines sailing around Australia and the world offer kids a variety of experiences. For the kids, Royal Caribbean have features like surfing and sky diving simulators, bumper cars and arcade games. Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation means fun parades and lots of cool activities. It would not be out of the ordinary to find Shrek wandering past the buffet, or Po from Kung Fu Panda practicing his moves at one of the themed dance parties. The all Aussie cruise line, P&O has introduced the very popular P&OEdge Advenutre park which features 20 different activities utilising parts of the ship including the funnel for rock climbing. Kids can also zipline from one end of the ship to the other. On the new Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, the company has built a two-storey go-kart race track which will definitely keep the kids entertained. The line has also built a laser tag course for the entire family. On a Disney Cruise Line ship, kids can watch daily Disney musicals and take part in themed costume parties like Pirate night, hosted by the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Services

Most cruise lines offer babysitting services including after hours when mum and dad want to have some alone time. P&O and Royal Caribbean offer these services for an extra fee. For mums and dads with tiny tots, there is the MSC Babycare Service for children aged between one to three years old and there is even laundry service for your tiny tots up to six months old.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers complimentary youth programmes with their Splash Academy (ages 3-12) and Entourage (ages 13 – 17). Alongside Norwegian’s well-trained staff, your children will experience a wide range of exciting activities including circus skills, sports, scavenger hunts, arts & crafts and more. And while they're having the time of their lives, you can too, knowing they're in a safe and supervised environment.

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Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines

One of the most popular family cruise lines, Carnival’s ships, Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend offer something for the entire family. Carnival Spirit has the largest waterpark at sea in Australia, mini-golf, two-deck fitness centre, an adults-only area and more. It also has Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint where guests can make their own American diner-style burgers. For the Mexican fiends, BlueIguana Cantina has a taco machine that can make 110 taco shells an hour. Guests can choose from chicken, fish, pork and beef tacos. Carnival Legend has some great features including the Green Thunder waterslide and, for the foodies, the RedFrog Pub and Bonsai Sushi. carnival.com.au

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P&O Cruises

P&O has the largest fleet in Australia with five ships sailing in the region. The line in 2017, launched the Pacific Explorer which has new food offerings from Australian celebrity chef, Luke Mangan as well as new facilities and shows onboard. She also has cool new water slides, a water park, new bars, barefoot bowls, a poolside lobster and burger bar and more The line took a new approach to its ships with Pacific Aria and Eden. The ships are modern and elegant, filled with beautiful furnishings and great restaurants. pocruises.com.au

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Royal Carribean

The arrival of Australia’s largest ship, Ovation of the Seas, was one of the biggest highlights last year. Hailed as the most technologically advanced ship, she hosts a range of wonders including the Bionic Bar where guests can get their favourite drinks mixed by a robotic arm, the FlowRider surf simulator, North Star viewing pod and SeaPlex, where guests can ride bumper cars. Dining choices include pasta at Jamie’s Italian, a restaurant born from a partnership with the fast-talking British chef Jamie Oliver. At Wonderland, diners are given a gastronomical fanfare of food where nothing is quite what it seems. Think liquid lobster, cheesecake with apple and wasabi air, and vanishing noodles – just to name a few. Other ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet in Australia include Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. This year in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas will be launching in Shanghai, with several sailings from Singapore. She is the first Quantum Ultra-class ship for the fleet and will boast new restaurants as well as a VIP area. royalcaribbean.com.au

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Princess Cruises

Named the best cruise line in Cruise Passenger’s Reader’s Choice Awards, Princess Cruises has a number of ships sailing around Australia and New Zealand. Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Dawn Princess, Sun Princess and Diamond Princess are homeported here or visit ports in Australia. The Majestic Princess will be spending another homeported season Down Under where she boasts restaurants from Michelin-starred chef and a stunning new spa area. Princess is famed for its amazing food offerings and impeccable service. Australia celebrity chef Curtis Stone has partnered with the line and created SHARE by Curtis Stone with a menu designed around Australian produce and home-style cooking. For Broadway fans, Princess has an exclusive show produced by famed lyricist and Tony award-winning director Stephen Schwartz, Magic to Do, on selected Princess ships. The Ruby Princess will also be arriving next year, offering Australians more sailings. princess.com

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Azamara Club Cruises

The boutique cruise line is famed on its immersive experiences. Azamara has three ships, Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest and the new Azamara Pursuit, which offer an intimate experience and are small enough to navigate up smaller and narrower waterways. The ships have recently been refurbished with the suites, spa and public spaces getting a fresh new look. And last year, the line announced a third, the Azamara Quest, will be joining the fleet. Like her sisters, she will provide guests with immersive experiences. azamaraclubcruises.com

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Celebrity Cruises

Luxury brand Celebrity Cruises has a large fleet of small ships as well as expedition vessels offering itineraries around Australia and New Zealand, Asia, South Pacific, South and Central America, the Galapagos and more. Last year, the new Celebrity Edge which is the most anticipated ship to launch this year, will be unlike anyone has seen before. Boasting a special ‘magic carpet’ platform on the exterior of the ship, as well as a three-storey multi-purpose space called Eden, she’ll look and feel like a space age ship. Celebrity Solstice regularly sails around Australia and was revitalised in October 2016. She has the first Lawn Club at sea, with real grass and its own gardener, as well as the first Hot Glass Show where guests can watch glassblowing on board. celebritycruises.com.au

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Oceania Cruises

Oceania sends Insignia, Sirena and Regatta to Australia and New Zealand. Regatta, which will be arriving next year, has had a multimillion dollar refurbishment and has been decked out in neo-classical furnishings, beautiful teak and stone work. She has eight lounges and bars and a state-of-the-art fitness and spa centre. Oceania marries old with the new. Guests can have afternoon tea at 4pm with a string quartet playing softly in the background while four-tiered pastry carts saunter past with freshly made finger sandwiches, petits fours, scones with clotted cream and desserts. The line only just announced, it would be building two new ships and as part of their future plan, will be refurbishing the entire fleet. oceaniacruises.com

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Norwegian Cruise Line

Recently renovated with bow-to-stern enhancements, Norwegian Jewel will embark on Australia and New Zealand cruises departing December 2019 and November 2020. Her popular Australia and New Zealand cruises will visit some of New Zealand’s most beautiful destinations including Milford Sound, Doubtful Fjord, Dusky Fjord, Dunedin, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Bay of Islands and Auckland.

Norwegian Jewel features high-calibre entertainment, including ship exclusives Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The Australian hit musical Velvet blends disco classics with stellar circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements. Le Cirque Bijou, only showing on Norwegian Jewel, provides a mesmerising journey of artistic and high-flying acrobatic performances, while Rock You Tonight showcases a medley of songs from the best bands of the 70s, including Queen, Journey and The Who.

Norwegian offers a wide variety of culinary delights to please every palate. Complimentary dining options include two main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet and a variety of casual cafés, grills and on-the-go choices. Norwegian Jewel has 7 Specialty Dining options to choose from. Sip your favourite cocktail as you select from choice cuts of Angus beef at Cagney's Steakhouse. Enjoy delicious pasta made with the freshest ingredients inside the rustic and chic Italian eatery, La Cucina. Or savour French cuisine at Le Bistro.

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Viking Ocean Cruises

Last year, Viking Cruises announced it would be sending one of its ocean ships to Australia and New Zealand. Each ocean ship carries only 930 passengers and the Scandinavian inspired decor is understated and elegant. Highlights include all-verandah suites, a retractable-roofed infinity pool, cinemas and specialty eateries including the Manfredi’s Italian. vikingcruises.com.au/oceans

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Cunard

It’s always a breathtaking sight to see a Cunard ship sail into in Australia’s harbour as part of their long-haul and round the world journeys. The line’s three Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth have all been refreshed and updated. More suites have been added and the architects and interior decorators have revived QM2 with regal reds and art deco furnishings, much like the original Queen Mary. The line has even have updated the kennels for your canine passengers (on transatlantic sailings) – there’s a New York fire hydrant and lamp post from London for the pooches to relieve themselves on. But coming soon, is a fourth Cunard ship, yet to be named. She’ll be the biggest in the fleet. And this year also brings about the highly anticipated arrival of the Queen Elizabeth into Melbourne. She’ll be spending a season sailing around Australia and to New Zealand. cunardline.com.au

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Crystal Cruises

Ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises, known for its private planes and exclusive yachts, sails two of its ships around Australia – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. On board, you’ll be served champagne and caviar by your private butler, dine on dishes by the famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa, explore ports with Crystal’s detailed shore excursion program or relax at the Crystal Life Spa. But if you fancy something a little quieter, Crystal is creating a fleet of five river ships to sail the Rhine, Rhone, Moselle and Main rivers in Europe. The first, Crystal Mozart, is sailing on the Danube River and the second, the Crystal Bach has already received rave reviews. crystalcruises.com

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Last year, Regent Seven Seas launched “the world’s most luxurious ship” – the lobster and caviar are on tap. The ship also has a $200,000 bed made out of horse tail hair (the Queen of England also has one) and all of the glass on the chandeliers is hand blown. Regent sends Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager to Australia and New Zealand and on board, guests stay in all verandah suites, sip on top-notch cognac in the Connoisseur Club or watch cabaret shows in the constellation theatre. rssc.com

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Seabourn

The luxury line’s latest ship, Seabourn Encore was christened in Singapore in January 2017, and sailed straight to Australia and New Zealand. Designed in rich woods with plush furnishings, Encore is the epitome of modern elegance. Seabourn has also organised a number of keynote speakers including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Pulitzer-prize winning journalists. Also on board is a specialty restaurant by Michelin-starred American chef, Thomas Keller. Her sister, the Seabourn Ovation will be launched later in 2018. seabourn.com

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Silversea

White-gloved butlers and amazing shore excursions, Silversea has ocean ships that sail to the major ocean ports in Australia and New Zealand, as well as an expedition ship in the Northern Territory and Queensland. The 120-guest Silver Discoverer has all ocean-view suites as well as 12 Zodiacs for guests to explore isolated shores and explore wetlands. Silver Whisper has four eateries where guests can dine on continental and regional food at The Restaurant or feast on Italian dishes at La Terrazza. There is also a spa, library and beauty salon. silversea.com

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PONANT

PONANT, known for its ultra luxurious French cruises, have been taking guests around the world to famous regions and lesser known destinations for 30 years. There are currently six ships in the fleet - Le Boréal and its three sister vessels: L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, a three-masted ship which has 32 staterooms as well as the technologically advanced ship, Le Laperouse. The brand is famous for taking its guests to destinations like the Far North and the Arctic, secret islands of the Pacific as well as voyages along the Celtic coast in style and luxury. en.ponant.com

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CMV

The traditional British brand now has a strong presence in Australia with its small ships which sail around the world. You'll find intrepid grey nomads who want to explore the world in an intimate cruise setting. The ships have a range of modern and sophisticated public spaces like the Taverner's Pub and Connexions Bar, and there are several specialty restaurants like The Grill and Fusions, which serves traditional Indian fare. Cabins are well appointed and the line offers affordable deals on itineraries like world cruises. cmvaustralia.com

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