Australia: Next "Big Thing" for Cruisers??!!

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#1
Columbus, Ohio
18,109 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning, they have a travel story by a writer with TheTravelMavens.com featuring this headline: "Cruise ships are calling to Australian customers".

Here are some of the key story highlights: "Not since the days of Australia's gold rush in the 1800s -- and before that the dumping of 164,000 convicts unwanted by England -- have so many passenger ships sailed toward the land Down Under. This time, ships are westward bound for a different kind of gold: folding money from the purses of potential cruise passengers. As big new vessels continue to pop out of shipyards, cruise lines are looking around the world for new customers to fill their cabins. With European waters nearing a point of capacity, Australia is the next big thing for cruisers."

This is a fairly interesting, in-depth and entertaining story, especially for those planning their first cruise in this part of the world. Among the other key points in the story: "cruising is not new to this part of the world. Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and P&O have based a few ships in and around Sydney, mostly for short, seasonal stays. Vessels on round-the-world voyages annually stop in Australian harbors. What's new is the emphasis on drawing hundreds of thousands of Australians to sea. Their numbers have quadrupled since 2004, but the heavy battle for customers begins this fall, as nearly every North American cruise line is sending a big ship and/or increasing its presence with additional vessels, to establish a toehold." Among the biggest ships headed westward are Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas with 3,840 passengers. New and upgrading this fall is also the shift by Celebrity of their fancier Solstice with 2,850 passengers into this market.

This story notes that ships are adding special food offerings to help make Australian feel at home, including meat pies, bacon, beer and their style of entertainment. Hey, those items could be "fun" for us from the USA, too! The writer hints that there could be more bargains as the added ships and capacity increases competition and offerings.

We are looking forward to our Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Celebrity Solstice sailing, departing Sydney, doing 14 days, finishing in Auckland. The writer notes: "No matter what happens in rate wars, cruising in the South Pacific never will be an inexpensive proposition for North Americans, either in time or money." Yes, we've been concerned on those prices and long flight schedule. The "prize", however, seems to be worth IT from hearing the raves from others who have been there previously.

The story notes: "Australian travel agents are promoting fares on North American ships as low as $100 a day per person for two people, on 2013 cruises booked now. Some of the older ships in Australia are countering with rates as low as $50 a day."

Full story at:
http://www.cleveland.com/travel/inde...l#incart_river

THANKS for the postings on this board and information shared. Keep the good stuff coming! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 106,897 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1426474
#2
Gold Coast
9,591 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Thank you for attaching the link to this travel story on Australian cruising by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Some interesting facts and comments -

Among the biggest ships headed westward are Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas (3,840 passengers) and Radiance of the Seas (2,112); Celebrity Solstice (2,850); Diamond Princess (2,670); Carnival Spirit (2,600); and Holland America's Oosterdam (1,916).

"It's going to be a dogfight," said an executive at Holland America. Which means that bargains will be available.

If you want to spend several days in and around Sydney or Auckland -- and you do -- this is a trip with a minimum of three weeks.
Cruise bargains, however, will start once you get to the South Pacific. Travelers with time on their hands could make a month of it, or more, with an eye on their budget, as ship rates are lower than the cost of hotels and meals ashore, especially if you choose inside cabins.
Perhaps, with all the ships to be based in Sydney, some North American travelers might pull a South Florida-style gambit, moving to Sydney for a while and cherry picking cheap cruises as prices go down to fill the last cabins before a ship's sailing.


Australian travel agents are promoting fares on North American ships as low as $100 a day per person for two people, on 2013 cruises booked now. Some of the older ships in Australia are countering with rates as low as $50 a day.
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#3
Sydney Australia
1,001 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
It will be interesting to see what happens. It has to be remembered that the entire country has a population of only 22 million so there are only so many potential customers. Also the Aussie dollar is extremely high at the moment, making travel to Europe, Nth America and so on a real bargain for us. However this makes it expensive for our visitors and also for us to travel at home.
I hardly think that food and drinks need modification for our tastes, with the exception of coffee. A bigger issue is bound to be tipping, which will probably need to be included in the fare.
A lot of retired people will probably be interested in the fares which may result from a price war; you certainly get to an age where a 24 hour flight loses its appeal and a leisurely cruise from your homeport is more appealing. I have just returned home from Europe and I swear I will never in my life have an encounter with another Italian airport!
#4
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,619 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We booked early on our Top End Australia Celebrity cruise on 15 Feb 2013 and prices have dropped three times (X gave me the lower prices).
We are excited about the cruise, which includes a two day stop in Bali. Also, plan a nice pre-cruise in Perth and post-cruise in Sydney.
Worst thing is that long flight from LAX to Sydney.
#5
14,846 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Thanks for the info about the article, Terry. I am hoping for a good dogfight among cruise lines before the final payment date for our January 2014 Solstice cruise!

Ours is a 14-night Sydney to Auckland cruise, and we will probably arrive in Sydney 2 or 3 days before we board the ship. We'll spend 1 night in Auckland, and then I hope to fly to Queenstown, NZ for 3 nights. Depending on the amount of vacation time my DH is willing to take, he may or may not go with me to Queenstown. Since I don't have to get back to a job - I hope to extend my time in the area another couple of weeks.
#6
uk
6,073 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Terry,

It was interesting to read this as when we booked our Xmas Solstice cruise last April (2011), there were certainly less choices of ship. Since then, lots more offerings have been brought to the table.

It seemed such a long time until we were cruising 'down under', can't believe it's only a matter of weeks now! You'll be surprised how quickly January 2014 comes around . I'll try and post some tips and points of reference on our return.
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#7
Palm Springs, Calif
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Joined Apr 2005
Our furture cruise in 17 months, will be the 13 day NZ on the ROS our of Sydney, then we will spend an additional 9 days sight seeing and using Sydney as our base before we reboard the ROS for our 18 day Transpacific back to Honolulu. We plan on arriving 2 days pre cruise in Sydney. This will be our first trip and are taking our daughter this time. It will also be her first cruise.
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#8
Boca Raton, Florida
923 Posts
Joined May 2008
Were doing an 11 day Queensland cruise in February. Spending a week in Auckland,NZ prior to the cruise and then a week in Tahiti after the cruise. Also spending a few days in Sydney. We got such a great deal on the airfare that we were able to add in Tahiti with the money we saved on airfare.
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#9
14,846 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by Bocadude85
Were doing an 11 day Queensland cruise in February. Spending a week in Auckland,NZ prior to the cruise and then a week in Tahiti after the cruise. Also spending a few days in Sydney. We got such a great deal on the airfare that we were able to add in Tahiti with the money we saved on airfare.
I will (hopefully) be on that Queensland cruise on Rhapsody one year later!
#10
Eastern Washington
1,018 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
We are considering the Syd-ALK 12 night on the X Solstice for my DH retirement trip November 2014. Who knows what pricing will look like then. Planning on flying to Cairns for a couple days visiting the GBR prior to the cruise then after the cruise a few days traveling NZ mostly visiting wine country. Our other choice is a land based trip to South Africa (flights are cheaper like 1/2 price to JNB but the land tour more expensive) Decisions. Decisions.
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#11
London
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Originally posted by Zubsin
Our other choice is a land based trip to South Africa (flights are cheaper like 1/2 price to JNB but the land tour more expensive)
Between these two, I would do South Africa first. Australia and New Zealand are politically more stable.
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#12
Eastern Washington
1,018 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Globaliser
Between these two, I would do South Africa first. Australia and New Zealand are politically more stable.
Since the trip is so far away (DH retires June 2014) watching the politics in SA is a good point. The rest of the continent seems like it is in such upheavel right now. Ultimately if I want to keep SA on my list I'll have to work on DH since it is his retirement trip. It's one special trip I'll let him plan since I planned his 50th and 60th birthday trips. Good thing is both SA and NZ have wine countries!

Politics took Maldives off my list for sure.
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#13
New Jersey
1,051 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hi: We have been thinking about cruising to Australia and NewZ. We are in our low 60s, little overweight with some health issues. Not sure whether with the long flight from NY, and tours, etc, if this is a trip we should do or skip. Appreciate any help in deciding. Or, should we do South Pacific instead, more leisurely? thanks,
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Elaine
#14
Gold Coast
9,591 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by oceanbabe
Hi: We have been thinking about cruising to Australia and NewZ. We are in our low 60s, little overweight with some health issues. Not sure whether with the long flight from NY, and tours, etc, if this is a trip we should do or skip. Appreciate any help in deciding. Or, should we do South Pacific instead, more leisurely? thanks,
Have you considered a stopover in South Pacific en route to a NZ cruise to Sydney, then a stopover in Hawaii on the way home? This is a lovely relaxing way to break the long flight from NY, if you have the time.
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Hurtigruten - Fram - 2014 - Ushuaia to Antarctica, via Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Princess - Ocean Princess - 2013 - Dover to Iceland and Norway, via Shetland and Faroe Islands.

Princess - Ocean Princess - 2012 - Singapore to Sydney
Fred Olsen Black Watch - 2012 - The Baltic, with Norway. Dover to St. Petersburg, via Kiel Canal.
Celebrity Century - 2011 - Auckland to Sydney

CTMA Vacancier - 2011 - Montreal to Magdalen Islands. Amtrak - Toronto to New York
MSC - Poesia - 2010 - Kiel, Germany to NY. Amtrak NY to Niagara Falls, VIA Rail Toronto to Vancouver
MSC - Lirica - 2008 - Genoa, Italy to Fort Lauderdale
Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody of the Seas - 2007 - Honolulu to Sydney
Rivers of Holland Cruise - 2003 - to Amsterdam
Alaskan Marine Highway - 2003 - to most Alaskan ports of call
Star Cruises - Superstar Leo - 2003 - Sydney to Darwin
Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Naruik - 2002 - Bergen to Kirkenes
Angelina Lauro - 1971 - Sydney to Perth. Indian Pacific - Perth to Sydney (Put me off cruising for 30 years!)

P & O - Chusan - 1970 - London to Brisbane, via Africa, India and Sri Lanka (Suez closed).
Chandris Lines - Queen Frederica - 1969 - Sydney to London, via Panama, New York and Rotterdam
#15
Eastern Washington
1,018 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
So would you cruise AUS/NZ November or March? But I also want to take a side trip to GBR and after the cruise disembark in Auckland and do a land trip around NZ for another 5-7 days. I think my question is alittle like asking should I do the US in May or September oh and I want to visit Seattle and Key West .... but I'm still asking...
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NCL POA Hawaii July 2009
Caribbean Princess Southern Caribbean April 2009
X Summit Southern Caribbean Christmas 2008
Sapphire Princess Alaska July 2005 (still my favorite ship)