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Which cruise around Australia to choose?


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We're looking at these three cruises around Australia and would love your input.  We've never been to this part of the world, know nothing about it.  Have you enjoyed any of these cruises - Australia, Fiji or New Zealand - and if yes, what did you think?

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They are three very different cruises.  First you need to decide what you would prefer Aus, NZ or South Pacific. March, being our cyclone season, NZ and the south of Australia would be your best bet weatherwise.  I have done the NZ cruise and it is a lovely cruise, as NZ is a small country so you get to see a lot of the beautiful countryside.  You could spend time in Sydney at the end of the cruise. 

 

 

 

 

au

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Only you can decide which cruise to do - they are all for totally different countries so you need to do your research to see which appeals to you more.  If you are coming from a long way away and only do one cruise, the 2nd one seems a little bit of a waste as you don't get to see Australia or NZ at all.  All 3 cruises are very common itineraries and very popular.

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Just my opinion:

The first cruise if you just want to see Australia and really want to go the Great Barrier Reef.

The second if you want to go swimming and snorkling and meet people from a very different way of life. Some of these are very poor countries with very friendly people but sometimes basic facilities.

The third if you want to see Australia and New Zealand. There is  fantastic scenery and a bit of different culture. I think you will get the most variety in the ports in this cruise. It would be my pick if I came from overseas. Akaroa and Napier are unique towns with a charming feel to them.

Google some of the places on these cruises to see if these are ports you wish to vist.

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Only the first of those cruises covers Australia. The second the South Pacific islands. The third New Zealand.

 

The Australia cruise starts and ends in Melbourne, which is a nice city to visit but doesn't add anything to the cruise. In Australia you are generally better off using Sydney as your jump off point. Sydney is also a better place to spend a few days looking around.

 

New Zealand is far more scenic than Australia. Australia has the Great Barrier Reef. The Pacific Islands are postcard tropical islands without all the development you see in the Caribbean. All are friendly places.

 

If you are unsure what you want to see, I'd recommend a cruise from Sydney around New Zealand and back to Sydney. Spending several days sightseeing in Sydney before and/or after the cruise.

 

Ruby Princess, NZ, 13 nights, 8th March 2020

Radiance of the Seas, NZ, 13 nights, 14th March 2020

 

Late March is getting towards the end of the local cruise season when the weather gets cooler and less pleasant. If you can swing it, I'd recommend February as a better time for New Zealand.

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2 hours ago, SinbadThePorter said:

Late March is getting towards the end of the local cruise season when the weather gets cooler and less pleasant. If you can swing it, I'd recommend February as a better time for New Zealand.

 

I agree with SinbadThePorter, if you can, I would try and cruise to New Zealand at the end of February / start of March, as the weather "can" be better.

New Zealand weather is very unpredictable, and during the summer you can have 3 seasons in one day!

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The first cruise from Melbourne is already heavily booked and is now rather expensive.  It will be the last Melbourne to Melbourne cruise on the Golden Princess prior to her leaving Melbourne to go to Sydney and then over to the US before eventually going to P&O Aus.  So for us in Melbourne it is a farewell cruise.

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If it is your first time down under I would recommend doing the NZ cruise, then some sightseeing in Sydney after the cruise. If you want to see the Great Barrier Reef I would suggest flying to Cairns for a few days. Stay in Port Douglas, an hour away by shuttle bus, as that is where the best reef trips leave from. Also do a day trip into the Daintree Forest.

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I would be inclined to go with # 3, for reasons as given above. Also, the northern AU ports are nearly all tenders and it is not uncommon for them to be missed. Nearly all the NZ, plus Hobart and Melb are docked. After being in Sydney if wish to see the GBR fly to Cairns (April to Nov most ideal) or see other parts of AU like Uluru etc. Happy planning.

 

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I suggest the New Zealand to Australia cruise.  A few days in Auckland to recover from your flights, do the cruise and then a few days in Sydney post cruise.  Depending on the amount of time you have and your budget you could fly from Sydney to Brisbane and or Cairns for more sightseeing.  You could also consider a return flight to and from Auckland and fly from Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns to Auckland for the return flight.

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Some good advice above. You can't go wrong with any of those itineraries & all would be enjoyable - we have done similar cruises & each were great.

 

If this was my first/only trip downunder I would go with #3 and plan some time in Sydney ( & wider if time permits) post cruise.

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