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Viking Ocean "Best of Australia" Pre-excursion


flashfearless
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I'm looking for information on if anyone has been on the 6 night pre-excursion in Australia that Viking calls "Best of Australia".   Here is a link to the itinerary.  I always cringe a little bit when they discuss about taking you into "native" country wondering if it is all just a touristy show and not real life.  

 

https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/cruise-destinations/asia-australia/australia-new-zealand/index.html#modal/10074581322

 

Cost is $4K each.  

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Uluru is worth a visit, and while much is aimed at tourists, you will get a feel for the local people, and if you take the time, you will see why the rock is important.  I have been there a few times, and would gladly go again.

 

Alice is usually just a jumping off point for Uluru, and seems to have a lot of problems. Sails in the Desert always seemed to attempt to be more than it was. My last trip was a student tour, and we were camping, so I have probably covered all the accommodations available.

 

But, it's a very long way to go for just a few days.  Look at the flight times.  If you want to experience "native" culture, you needn't go to the outback.  There are quite a few places closer to Melbourne and Sydney that will give you a good introduction.

 

Of course, I am the one who started a thirty day tour in Alice, in January (40C!), just so I could go back to the rock.

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Native country isn't an expression we use in Australia. Every capital city is built on indigenous land which is why many places are now also named for their original significance. 

If you do that extension it is very memorable and getting up at Dawn for Uluru sunrise is not to be missed. Also try doing Dinner under the Stars. 
 

I don't know when cruises will be returning to Australia. My guess -  It won't be this year except for Australian local cruising. And even then, possibly not until November and then only small cruise ships. 

 

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Flashfearless, you will love Australia but the six day extension as said you will be lucky to see anything as flight time airport time transfers time!!!!!
 

I would spend more time in Sydney and Melbourne one day in Melbourne is not long enough.

Sydney your cruise has a overnight great but you will need to add 2 or 3 nights to this.

I have never been to Uluru but your flight time will be 2 to 3 hours.

If you have the time I would go to Uluru.

 

I would suggest organising your owe itinerary with your travel agent, or book it yourself if you have the time.

 

You will love the Viking ship and very thing about Viking.

 

I would all so google time distance between each state with flight time to give you a idea how big Australia is.

we live in Newcastle on the coast which is 2 hours north of Sydney.

 

Accommodation in Sydney a older hotel but the best views the intercontinental Sydney club floor amazing views.

cheers Karen

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13 hours ago, Rabbit27 said:

 

 

I would also google time distance between each state with flight time to give you a idea how big Australia is.

 

 

As said, Australia is a very big country, much the same size as the continental USA.  I lived in the US for seventeen years, and found that many people didn't seem to realise this.  Very good advice above to organise your own itinerary with your TA.

This link might be useful to get a feel for the size of Australia, and the resulting impact on travel times:

https://www.virtualoceania.net/australia/states/

For example the Northern Territory (where Uluru is) is 1,349,129 km2 in land area, with a land border of 3179 km and coastline of 10,953 km. The Northern Territory is slightly bigger than South Africa, about two times the size of Texas, and six times the size of the UK.

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We did Australia in 2016 on for a Jan 5 Celebrity Solstice sailing.  We flew on Dec 30 and completely missed New Years Eve.  We effectively hit the date line and jumped from midday Dec 31 to midday Jan 1.

 

Sydney was somewhat shut down on Jan 1 and we just walked around a bit.  

We do want to go back and experience the Penguin Parade near Melbourne but it's a nighttime thing and only a couple of lines accommodate for that: Oceania, Seabourn, and some of the Princess sailings start in Melbourne.

 

SO many things to do and we don't want to feel like the Mediterranean where there is no downtime and you are just exhausted everyday.

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I see Viking is doing this itinerary in Jan and Feb 2023.  Be aware that January in Australia is our major summer holiday period, so if it were me i would choose February.   Also I should have mentioned - jet lag.  That would definitely affect the pre-cruise excursion.  I lived on the east coast of the US and it always took me a week to recover from jet lag after i flew to Australia.

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46 minutes ago, Emma Chisit said:

I see Viking is doing this itinerary in Jan and Feb 2023.  Be aware that January in Australia is our major summer holiday period, so if it were me i would choose February.   Also I should have mentioned - jet lag.  That would definitely affect the pre-cruise excursion.  I lived on the east coast of the US and it always took me a week to recover from jet lag after i flew to Australia.

 

Could you clarify that statement about the "major summer holiday period"?  I'm assuming you mean that means that it just at the height of summer vacation season.  I know that we will be seeing crowds, but that will likely be unavoidable.  February might be a possibility.  

 

Thanks everyone for your replies.  

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8 minutes ago, flashfearless said:

 

Could you clarify that statement about the "major summer holiday period"?  I'm assuming you mean that means that it just at the height of summer vacation season.  I know that we will be seeing crowds, but that will likely be unavoidable.  February might be a possibility.  

 

Thanks everyone for your replies.  

 

No school in January and many parents and families take vacation during that period so beware the crowds and tourist competition.

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14 hours ago, flashfearless said:

 

Could you clarify that statement about the "major summer holiday period"? 

Exactly as zalusky said .   It's the same as the long summer holiday in the US - but with Christmas/New Year in the mix.  School finishes about mid December and doesn't start again till end of January. Mind you, since we haven't been allowed out of Australia for a year we are all exploring our own country.  So by the time 2023 rolls around everyone will be ready for a change - and might have headed off overseas again.  So you might not have competition from domestic tourists.. We long to be on a Viking cruise again - should have been on one in NZ over this Christmas/New Year just past.  

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We've shifted to the one in the reverse direction at mid Feb to early March 2023.  Thanks for your guidance.  We've also dropped this "Best of" excursion.  Will likely try to make our own plans to see Alice Springs.

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12 hours ago, flashfearless said:

 

 Will likely try to make our own plans to see Alice Springs.

What Little Monty said....

Also, check out the Australia/NZ section of Cruise Critic.  Lot of helpful people there.  And a few from overseas who originally posted to ask advice, had their cruise derailed by coronavirus, and stayed around to chat.  Closest they can get to Australia for the time being..

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/564-australia-new-zealand-cruisers/

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