Cruises in the Australia combine cosmopolitan cities with lush jungles, exotic wildlife, 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.
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!”
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.
Cruisers also have a chance to explore inland. Cruisetours, which are tours offered before and after cruises, typically are offered in Australia and allow passengers to get deep into the Outback to admire the giant red monolith known as Ayer’s Rock and the ochre domed rocks known as the Olgas. Other cruisetours take pre- or post-cruisers to the Great Barrier Reef.
Though there are nuances among itineraries, most Australia cruises run 12 days or longer, and nearly all include a mix of cruising Australia’s east coast and Tasmania (the Australian island state) with New Zealand’s North Island and South Island. Some extended itineraries, often more than 30 days in length, also feature Asia.
Remember, with seasons reversed in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, the major cruise lines typically operate “Down Under” from November through March.