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Considering Australia Cruise - Pros & Cons?


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For my husband's 50th, we want to go to Australia. Originally I was thinking we would fly in and explore by land, but that likely means we will spend a few days in Melbourne and a few days in Sydney and not really see much else (unless we can arrange a day excursion here and there), so we have been thinking of doing a cruise instead. I know some people say with a cruise you only see 5% of the country, but besides the 5%, what would you say are the pros and cons of seeing Australia by cruise? 

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The pro is not spending hours in a car or at an airport, the usual pro is not having to pack and unpack every day or so.

 

The Con is you miss some of the best bits, the small towns, the country bits most cruises principle stop in cities.

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A number of things to consider -

  • how long do you want to spend visiting Australia?
  • when do you plan to visit?
  • what are you want to see here?
  • what are your interests?

 

If you decide to just visit Melbourne and Sydney, both cities have many sights to see and also some great day excursions.

 

Let us know the answers to the above and we can offer better advice. I would suggest the minimum time you would want to spend here would be two weeks. Australia’s main cruising season usually starts in late September/early October with re-positioning cruises and through to late March. P&O Australia and Carnival Aus will have cruises all year round. 

 

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17 hours ago, possum52 said:

A number of things to consider -

  • how long do you want to spend visiting Australia?
  • when do you plan to visit?
  • what are you want to see here?
  • what are your interests?

 

If you decide to just visit Melbourne and Sydney, both cities have many sights to see and also some great day excursions.

 

Let us know the answers to the above and we can offer better advice. I would suggest the minimum time you would want to spend here would be two weeks. Australia’s main cruising season usually starts in late September/early October with re-positioning cruises and through to late March. P&O Australia and Carnival Aus will have cruises all year round. 

 

It would be between 2-3 weeks depending on what I can arrange with my work schedule and likely in January-February 2024. We want to see as much as we can in that space and are fairly open to things to do. My husband will want to scuba dive at least once while we are there and possibly catch a tennis match if the Open is happening while we are there, but we don't have any other must dos. Even if we take a cruise, I expect we would plan a few days on land to be able to do the scuba and/or tennis but am trying to figure out the best options for the bulk of the trip if that makes sense.

 

Thank you all for your input so far.

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4 hours ago, Dannirose said:

It would be between 2-3 weeks depending on what I can arrange with my work schedule and likely in January-February 2024. We want to see as much as we can in that space and are fairly open to things to do. My husband will want to scuba dive at least once while we are there and possibly catch a tennis match if the Open is happening while we are there, but we don't have any other must dos. Even if we take a cruise, I expect we would plan a few days on land to be able to do the scuba and/or tennis but am trying to figure out the best options for the bulk of the trip if that makes sense.

 

Thank you all for your input so far.

The Aus Open is from the middle of January for two weeks in Melbourne. When you say your husband would want to scuba dive, is there any particular place he would want to do that? Is he thinking the Great Barrier Reef?

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2 hours ago, possum52 said:

The Aus Open is from the middle of January for two weeks in Melbourne. When you say your husband would want to scuba dive, is there any particular place he would want to do that? Is he thinking the Great Barrier Reef?

Yes, if it is still permitted, he would want to dive the Great Barrier Reef. I'm thinking we would fly into Melbourne for the Open, make our way to Sydney for the start of the cruise if we ultimately chose to do the cruise, and then end the trip with the diving portion before heading home. The alternative is fly into Melbourne, see the Open match and a few sights there and whatever day trips make sense from there and then head to Sydney and see the sights there and do one or two day trips (including the dive trip).

 

While we had not been considering the cruise option before (because we honestly hadn't thought of it), the pricing right now does make it rather attractive.

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You won't be able to do a Great Barrier Reef dive trip as a day trip from Sydney. It's too far away. There is scuba diving at some locations around Sydney but it isn't tropical coral reefs.

 

I recommend flying to Cairns at the end of your trip and staying in Port Douglas, which is an hour away by shuttle bus. There are a number of dive operators operating from Port Douglas. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Dannirose said:

Yes, if it is still permitted, he would want to dive the Great Barrier Reef. I'm thinking we would fly into Melbourne for the Open, make our way to Sydney for the start of the cruise if we ultimately chose to do the cruise, and then end the trip with the diving portion before heading home. The alternative is fly into Melbourne, see the Open match and a few sights there and whatever day trips make sense from there and then head to Sydney and see the sights there and do one or two day trips (including the dive trip).

 

While we had not been considering the cruise option before (because we honestly hadn't thought of it), the pricing right now does make it rather attractive.

As Julie said it is too far away to do a day trip from Sydney to GBR. The flight distance from Sydney to Cairns (closest airport) to Port Douglas is 2450 km. The flight time is just over three hours. We are in Cairns at the moment on holiday. My suggestion if you were to come up here would be to stay in Cairns. There is a very wide range of accommodation and plenty of dive operators. We are going out to the reef tomorrow - snorkelling, not scuba diving. It is the wet season in Northern Queensland at the time you plan to visit.

 

Another suggestion if you decided to not go up to the GBR, as Julie said there are plenty of diving spots around Sydney and also in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. This link may help - Scuba Diving in Melbourne.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately as others have said the Great Barrier Reef is a very long way from Sydney, and you won't be able to do a day trip.

 

Have you considered?

* Fly into Melbourne (spend a few days) highly recommend a trip out to either the 12 apostles or to Phillip Island for the penguins

* Fly to Sydney (spend a few days)

* Hire a car and drive Sydney --> Brisbane this is a 10 hour drive and you would want to stop for an overnight once or twice. Very popular is Byron Bay, which is about 2 hours south of Brisbane. You will also drive through the Gold Coast too.

* Take a cruise from Brisbane up to the Great Barrier Reef. You will have plenty of opportunity to go diving.

 

Jan/Feb is peak cruise season, along with peak holiday season. It will be very hot, so keep that in mind when planning your holiday. You will have many cruise lines to choose from, whether you go out of Sydney or Brisbane. We prefer Celebrity, but there is also P&O, Carnival, Royal Caribbean. 

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