From koalas to kiwis: CruiseAway presents the 5 best cruises around the southern hemisphere on board world class cruise ships
The year round climate, exciting cruise itineraries visiting vibrant cities packed with unique culture, wildlife and geography: Australia and New Zealand are becoming ever more popular cruise destinations.
Therefore, major cruise lines have set sail to bring their ships to Australian waters – creating a lot of choice for cruise savvy travellers. To ease the search for the perfect cruise, CruiseAway has researched and put together the five best Australia and New Zealand cruises – ranked by ship and best range of itineraries.
Number 5: Find the jewels of Australasia with the Diamond Princess
Princess Cruises spent $30 million in 2013 in order to face lift the 17-deck Diamond Princess. “This magnificent ship has become something of a darling amongst Australian cruisers for quite some time now, going on 18 different routes. The most popular is an 11 night Sydney looped cruise, visiting the fascinating ports of Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Tauranga, Auckland, Paihia, and then back to Sydney”, explains CruiseAways best cruise consultant. At the heart of the ship, there is a classical atrium with many boutiques and restaurants, up at the top decks guests will find four unique pools. Dancing and music play a big role in the ship’s atmosphere – from jazz in the bar to Latin or line dancing in the ballroom, night entertainment is most definitely a highlight on board.
Number 4: The Ultimate Royal Viewing of Australasia aboard the Queen Elizabeth
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth unites elegancy with modern standards cruising Australian and New Zealand waters. Built in 2010 and refurbished in 2014, the ship has a uniquely classic and timeless feel, with elegant décor and a traditional cruise experience. In the garden lounge, which is inspired by the Cunard gardens, guests can enjoy their afternoon tea under the sun by day. Alternatively, come along to the Royal Court Theatre, where the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company will take to the stage to perform classic dramas and west end style productions that cannot be missed. With warm and friendly staff, this cruise is the swankiest way to travel the Southern Hemisphere.
Number 3: The Voyager of the Australasia Seas
The Voyager of the Seas is the perfect ship and has perfect itineraries for the whole family. This cruise departs for a two week voyage from Sydney, setting sail to the first out of five ports, Paihia. This cruise ship is known for its extremely unique activities on board for all age groups, ranging from unlimited dining options, adventurous activities, to adult only relaxation sanctuaries. The Royal Promenade is located at the heart of the ship. Here, guests stroll around shops, restaurants and pubs in a warm and friendly atmosphere. On an outside deck, guest can enjoy and take part in various activities: From basketball and volleyball courts, a 200ft climbing wall, fitness centre with group classes, and indoor ice skating rink. And for the adults, why not relax in the adult’s only glass solarium, where you can find Jacuzzis’ and whirlpools, or simply soak up the sun in peace. Then head to the award winning day spa and pamper yourself while you are on your holidays. With a ship like this, you will not hear the words “Are we there, yet?” again.
Number 2: Adventures of Australasia aboard MS Noordam
The 14-night cruise from Sydney to Auckland aboard Holland American Line’s MS Noordam visiting nine exciting ports along the way offers impressive shore excursions, as well as a wide range of activities on board. Yet, it still manages to maintain an overall feel of classic cruising contributing greatly to the ship’s number 2 position on the list. Holland America Line has created a perfect balance on board. The cruise ship is small enough to preserve a personal style of service, while large enough to enjoy countless activities and entertainment in comfort. This traditional style of cruising atmosphere with a hint of modern cruising makes it suitable for families and couples each age. Daytime activities include culinary arts courses and digital workshops powered by Windows. Guests relax in the luxurious greenhouse spa or by the pool.
Number 1: Set Sail into the sun on with Celebrity Solstice
Visiting nine ports on a 14-night cruise from Auckland to Sydney with Celebrity Solstice is the itinerary balance from relaxing on board and shore excursions in fascinating destinations. This modern vessel excels in all fields, from service to entertainment and dining. With a varied choice of over ten different types of staterooms, guests will find the one that suits perfectly, with space and comfort guaranteed – as well as a personal butler service. One of this ship’s highlights is the Lawn Club for activities such as boules and croquet. Other activities include dance classes, to the distinctive art of glass making at the hot glass show or art tours in the gallery, travellers are bound to find something to tickle their fancy. Moreover, there is an indoor solarium and one of the biggest on-board spa areas at sea to date. Celebrity Solstice is also known for its wine collection, and wine lovers will be in paradise with wine programmes and tastings.
Whether it is a big ship or small, two weeks or three nights, on board activities or just relaxing, with so much variety on Australia and New Zealand cruises, there will be the perfect cruise for everyone around the southern hemisphere.