Four separate cruises on three ships in a wide-ranging itinerary covering Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and the South Pacific give the latest offering from Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au) a distinctive and adventurous flavour.
‘From Frozen Fields to Southern Sands’ lasts over six weeks – 43 nights – using top-class ships from Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.
The first and last of the four cruises on this holiday are aboard Holland America Line’s ms Noordam, adorned with fine art, photography and valuable pieces of antique furniture. This ship will take you on a seven-night cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage and later on a 14-night South Pacific cruise from Honolulu to Sydney.
Between those cruises are a seven night trans-Pacific cruise aboard ms Volendam, Vancouver to Honolulu, and a seven-night Hawaiian Islands cruise, round-trip from Honolulu aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America.
Other highlights in ‘From Frozen Fields to Southern Sands’ include five nights at the
Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver, a free tour of Victoria and the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, three nights at Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach in a four-star hotel, and a flight from Sydney to Vancouver.
‘From Frozen Fields to Southern Sands’ costs from A$9899 per person twin share, valid for booking at that rate until the end of July 2015 unless sold out beforehand.
The holiday begins with a flight from Sydney to Vancouver on 11 September 2015 with a night to relax and refresh before boarding ms Noordam the following day.
Ms Noordam sails for Alaska’s Inside Passage, with its pristine water, mountains, fjords and forested islands. In the Tracy Arm Fjord region, black and brown bears roam. You’ll visit the historic town of Juneau, the Klondike gold-rush settlement of Skagway, Ketchikan for totem poles and phenomenal Glacier Bay, a photographer’s paradise where 16 glaciers plunge into icy fjords.
Aboard ms Noordam, the Vista Dining Room features impeccable service and an extensive wine list. All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) are included in the price and the same applies on the other cruises in this holiday.
Disembarking in Vancouver, check into the stylish Hyatt Regency Hotel, your base for the next four nights. This beautiful city is constantly voted one of the planet’s most desirable. A free full-day tour heads to Victoria, European-style capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. The trip includes admission to the renowned Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s finest display gardens.
Farewell Vancouver with a private car transfer to board your next ship, ms Volendam. A seven-night cruise to Honolulu stops first at Seattle, with time to see the northern US city. Perhaps visit harbourside Pike Market, founded in 1907 and still going strong.
The rest of the cruise gives you time to take it easy in the ship’s lounges, bars, the Lido Pool, spa and salon. Talented vocalists, dancers, illusionists, comedians and variety acts entertain in the Frans Hals Show Lounge.
Arrival in Hawaii brings three nights near Waikiki Beach in a four-star hotel. Maybe visit Pearl Harbour and Diamond Head. Then board Norwegian Cruise Line’s great Pride of America cruise ship, your floating resort to visit the fabled Islands of Hawaii over seven nights.
Pride of America first sails to Kahului on Maui, where surfing was once the sport of Hawaiian Royalty. From Maui, head to Hilo on the east coast of the Big Island, known for spectacular Akaka Falls, plunging 129 metres. You’ll also visit Kauai, island of rainforests and rounded mountains, cascading waterfalls and ocean cliffs.
Between islands, Pride of America has plenty to keep you entertained and a friendly American crew ready to help – plus eight restaurants, 10 bars and lounges.
Back in Honolulu it’s time to join the final cruise, aboard a ship you already know: ms Noordam. A leisurely, 14-night South Pacific cruise will take you back to Australia, with plenty to see on the way.
Cross the date line (you’ll experience the same day twice) to Samoa and its capital, Apia. Robert Louis Stevenson, author of ‘Treasure Island’, is buried near here and the town has dedicated a museum to him.
You’ve a day to shop and wander in Suva, Fiji, and another day in laid-back Lautoka, Fiji’s second-biggest city. Then blissful Mare Island in the French Polynesian archipelago of New Caledonia, an isle of friendly people, basking turtles and wonderful beaches.
From here, it’s just two days before ms Noordam enters Australian waters and on to Sydney. The dawn passage through Sydney heads is a world-beater and well worth getting up early to enjoy.
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