Cruises in the South Pacific combine cosmopolitan cities with lush jungles, exotic wildlife, snow-capped mountains and fjords, plus white-sand beaches and coral reefs.
It’s no surprise that explorers, artists, writers and visitors have been coming here to cruise the south pacific since at least the 18th century, when Captain Cook and his colleagues first arrived.
Cruises in the South Pacific feature a multitude of destinations that are a study in contrasts. Each region has its own distinct cultural appeal.
A continent and a nation, Australia features the desert expanses of the Outback, where you’ll find kangaroos, koalas, wombats and the platypus. Equally stunning is the Great Barrier Reef, an underwater wonderland teeming with marine life.
Australia also boasts breathtaking cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne. Often called the most spectacular harbor in the world to enter via a cruise ship, Sydney’s famed Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge await guests on deck and evoke the spirit of “G’Day!”
Check out the video, Silver Shadow departing Sydney, Australia.
Passengers on a South Pacific cruise can opt for flight-seeing excursions that afford stunning views of the Daintree Rainforest, Tasmania’s Mt. Wellington, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Southeast of Australia is New Zealand, comprised of the South Island and North Island. New Zealand boasts an abundance of natural attractions and recreational opportunities hard to rival. Only in Auckland, for example, can cruise passengers board an America’s Cup yacht to sail past the America’s Cup Village, with its super yachts. Cruise passengers also can retrace the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, visiting some of the best-known sites from the film, or cruise beautiful Milford & Dusky Sounds.
Since the first sailing ships from Europe dropped anchor among French Polynesia’s lagoons and coral atolls, the magical islands have symbolized romance and natural beauty. Vacationers on South Pacific cruises can take in volcanic peaks shrouded in wispy clouds, mysterious rainforests, white-sand beaches, a profusion of flowers, including Tahiti’s spectacular black pearls.
In 2012, I crossed the Tasman Sea, from Australia to New Zealand — and back. I thought avid cruisers might enjoy reading about that journey in a magazine-like layout. Simply click here or on the image above to launch the four-page PDF Cruising Australia & New Zealand on Silver Shadow.
If you find yourself wanting more information about this fascinating part of the world, check out this post Cruising Down Under In Photos & Videos: Highlights Of Australia & New Zealand On Silver Shadow, which has links to posts from each day of the journey. You might also find our Silver Shadow ship review useful if you’re contemplating a luxury cruise.