Australia is a dream destination: its wonderful diversity of people, landscapes, cuisine and attractions are overlaid with a welcoming, relaxed attitude. To see as much of the continent as possible in one trip, consider an Australian cruise.
More than 10 major cruise lines visit Australia. You can enjoy the elegance of Cunard Line, Regent Seven Seas or Crystal Cruises; or, the family-friendly ambiance of Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean or Princess Cruises. Paul Gaugin Cruises calls on northern Australia ports in combination with Fiji or the islands of Southeast Asia. Seabourn’s intimate ships also call on ports in eastern and northern Australia on cruises that that also visit New Zealand or Southeast Asia.
Sydney is the anchor of many Australian cruise itineraries, with good reason. The beautiful harbor, the nearby beaches, the historic Rocks district and the misty Blue Mountains in the distance are just some of the features that elevate this sprawling city to a must-see destination.
The size of your ship determines where you dock in Sydney, but both have easy access to top attractions. Smaller ships dock at White Bay Cruise Terminal, which opened last year in Darling Harbor. This terminal is close to the city center and attractions like the Sydney Aquarium and the Maritime Museum. Larger ships dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, adjacent to the Rocks, Sydney’s original old city. The Overseas terminal is scheduled to get a facelift in summer 2014 to help create better passenger flow.
Australian cruise itineraries may also include Adelaide, a gateway to the wine region (try the Shiraz from Barossa and the Riesling from Adelaide Hills). Melbourne is a multicultural city with lots of great shopping, dining and cultural attractions. Brisbane, Australia’s capital, has a wonderful riverfront – you can reach many attractions via boat – and is near the beaches of the Gold Coast. Cairns is the base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef or the ancient Daintree rainforest.
Some itineraries also visit Australia’s western capital, Perth; Hobart, capital of the island of Tasmania; the Whitsunday Islands off Australia’s northeast coast; and Noumea, capital of the islands of New Caledonia, a territory of France.
To select a cruise line, ship and itinerary for your Australian cruise, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.