Luxury seems to be the theme for this year’s wave season with ships offering decadent experiences heading our way.
Five-star operators such as Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Silversea, along with premium lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Cunard are sending ships out way for another bumper wave season.
There will be some new arrivals. Norwegian Jewel will be here for her maiden season, sailing on a range of Australian itineraries including calls to Eden, Hobart and Adelaide as well as visits to New Zealand. Norwegian Jewel will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship to be homeported in Australia in 13 years and the company’s return is highly anticipated. NCL, known for the bright and colourful artwork on the bows of its ships is also highly regarded for its excellent food and service.
Another momentous occasion is the arrival of Viking Sun from Viking Ocean. The company recently branched out into ocean ships and the clean Scandinavian designs and excellent Nordic food has already won the line several prestigious awards.
The latest offering from Seabourn, Seabourn Encore launched at the beginning of the year and made a whirlwind trip Down Under after her christening in Singapore.
But she’ll be here for about six weeks this season, sailing from Asia and stopping along the way in Bali as well as the Great Barrier Reef before setting off on several sailings to New Zealand and the South Pacific. The line is also sending Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn.
There’s more luxury headed out way with two ships from Crystal Cruises – Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The ultimate in five-star cruising, expect white-gloved butlers, fabulous all-balcony suites with your favourite beverage of choice, bespoke shore excursions and food from celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Silversea is also returning with Silver Whisper and in early 2019, Silver Muse, its newest ship in the fleet, will be making her maiden call to Australia. Other notable mentions include Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator.
Oceania Cruises, voted by Cruise Passenger’s esteemed panel of judges as the Best Cruise Line for Food, will have Regatta in Australia on a 34-night cruise.
Two of Cunard’s three Queens will return for the wave season with Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth visiting ports around Australia. It’s just a warm up for Queen Elizabeth which will homeport in Melbourne in early 2019.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.