The weak Australian dollar is making travel more expensive, particularly for destinations like America, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
Flights to Europe and America during peak season are reaching a premium, coupled with the rising cost of hotels, and waning exchange rate, it’s making it more expensive than ever to travel.
Aggregator site Skyscanner reported that 33% of Aussie’s looking to travel to somewhere where they can take their currency further.
Cruising offers a preferable method of travel when the Australian dollar isn’t strong, as spending most of your money onboard leaves you largely immune to unfavourable exchange rates.
However, if you are planning to combine your cruise with land travel, or enjoy wandering around and splashing some cash at ports, then-current exchange rates could end up adding a significant sum to your holiday spending.
With this in mind, Skyscanner has shared a list of destinations where the Australian dollar is still stacking up strongly, with the list comprising Japan, India and Argentina.
Japan and Argentina are both common cruise destinations and while India isn’t as common for an ocean cruise, Indian river cruise has been on the rise, with Uniworld revealing bookings for Indian river cruise in 2023 are up 240%.
India in general has been attracting Aussie interest, with flight bookings up 21% this year versus 2019 before the pandemic.
With exchange rates making Europe extra tricky, and the above destinations offering the opportunity not just to shave off valuable dollars from your holiday budget, but also explore new areas, here are some of the best cruises you can find in Japan, India and Argentina.
Why Japan is where you can stretch the Australian dollar
This 12-night cruise out of Singapore with Royal Caribbean is perfect for Aussies. You can grab a cheap flight to Singapore, then get dropped off in Tokyo, perfectly positioned to take advantage of the AUD’s position against the Yen. You’ll also stop in Vietnam and Hong Kong along the way, as well as three Japanese ports in Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Kagoshima. The cruise starts from $2697 for 12-nights and leaves on September 19, 2023.
With multiple sailing dates available, Celebrity Cruises’ ‘Best of Japan’ itineraries start from $2649 for 12-night sailings. The itineraries have been many stops in Japan, ducking into Kobe, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Mt Fuji, as well as Jeju Island in South Korea. Whether or not you stay longer pre or post-cruise this will offer plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the Japanese yen.
If you fancy a last-minute trip to Japan to take advantage of your Australian dollars, this Princess eight-day Gion and Tenjin Festivals cruise leaves on July 19. Guests will arrive in perfect time for some of Japan’s most exciting festivities, as well as enjoying stops in all the expected hot-spots like Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and more.
Argentina is a great option for travel
Cruising in Argentina is often heavily associated with a visit to Ushuaia, the setting-off point for Antarctica expeditions. While your AUD won’t help you much there, there are plenty of cruises that start or end in Buenos Aires, with a strong Australian Dollar relative to the Argentinian Peso offering the perfect excuse to explore Buenos Aires, as well as other Argentinian destinations like Patagonia.
This Celebrity Cruises itinerary runs from Valparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, on December 23 this year. Chile is the easiest South American country for Australiansto fly into, making this cruise perfect for Australians trying to check out Argentina.
The 14-night sailing starts from $2809, after being slashed down from $6631. Guests will enjoy sights like Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn on their way to Buenos Aires.
For the best prices on cruises out of Buenos Aires, MSC Cruises is the best bet. On December 12, 2023, there’s an eight-night roundtrip out of Buenos Aires starting from just $1194. The cruise explores the coast of Argentina and Brazil, before dropping guests back in Buenos Aires.
Indian river cruising is where you can stretch the Australian dollar
With the Australian dollar strong against the Indian Rupee, the best way to cruise in India is via a river cruise, with many major river cruise lines offering Indian sailings. River cruises involve plenty of exploring, where you can spend in local currency.
TravelMarvel offers India river cruises combined with land travel which are perfect for taking advantage of your AUD. For example, this Lower Ganges, Golden Triangle and Mumbai 20-day itinerary includes a seven-night Lower Ganges cruise on the RV Rajmahal. Meaning you’ll combine a river cruise with experiences like searching for tigers in the national park and visiting Amber Fort.
Avalon Waterways offers plenty of options for exploring India, with five-different itineraries in total ranging from seven to 21 days. For a quick escape you can opt for the seven-day Spirit of the Ganges sailing, or for a longer journey that mixes a Ganges cruise with land travel of India and Nepal, you can opt for the 21-day Colourful India & The Ganges River with Southern India, Varanasi and Katmandu.
Pandaw cruises also offer exciting options for exploring India’s waterways, including a 12-night Upper Ganges cruise, to experience the less seen half of the Ganges. Otherwise there’s also a more traditional seven-night Lower Ganges cruise, or for a wildlife-centric option, you can pivot from the Ganges and explore the Brahmaputra River for seven-nights.