Nothing beats sailing to an exotic, far off destination. Ocean cruising offers the best of two worlds – fun-filled shore excursions and typically, sea days where you can enjoy all the amenities found on board your ship. Unwind with a massage in the day spa, lounge at one of the pools or order a cocktail and relax with a good book.
Frequent ocean cruise itineraries depart from Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide and Sydney, with seasonal departures from other ports.
Popular ocean cruise destinations: Caribbean, Australia, Trans-Tasman and South Pacific, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Mediterranean Sea and Trans-Atlantic.
The river cruise is fast becoming the most sought-after method of luxury travel through Europe. However, river cruising is also on the rise through Asia, particularly in China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
In the United States, the mighty Mississippi River, the Ohio and the Cumberland rivers transport visitors to such iconic southern music cities as Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis and New Orleans. And in the Southern Hemisphere, cruising the Amazon is making many a bucket list.
You’ll find many of the same luxuries on a river cruise – and more - than you find on the larger ships. Expect top-notch cuisine served in a stylish dining room, a day spa and gym for a massage and a workout, and best of all, a large viewing deck from which to admire the passing scenery.
Popular river cruises: Amsterdam to Prague on the Danube; Bordeaux and the South of France; the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia; The Douro through Portugal; luxury paddle boat on the Mississippi River and the Murray River in South Australia.
Luxury and Small Ship
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to cruise the Mediterranean or the Caribbean on a personal yacht, then a small ship luxury cruise is just the thing for you. With five-star dining, luxury suites and often butler service, nothing is overlooked on these wonderfully indulgent journeys.
Small ship luxury vessels range in size but typically, passenger numbers range from just a few dozen up to approximately 900 guests. Vastly different to today’s mega-liners, the small ship experience affords greater levels of service, comfort and privacy. Some cruise lines even have a child-free policy.
The smaller ships can access a larger number of ports than their bigger cousins allowing for stops at remote locations and towns. And for those looking for a true cultural or outdoor immersion, these smaller ports are often the most memorable, where visitors can fully indulge in the local way of life.
Luxury and small ship cruise lines include: Viking River and Ocean Cruises, Azamara Voyages, APT, Crystal, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Scenic, Silversea and Windstar.
For some, a cruise isn’t just about relaxing. Adventure cruising is all about the destination with interesting land tours making up the bulk of the holiday experience.
In fact, luxury sailing and adventure often go together. Because luxury small ship cruises often stop at remote locations and smaller ports, the access to natural highlights like the bays of Alaska, the fjords of Norway, or even Antarctica or coastal Africa, make for ideal holidays of discovery.
Galapagos – Roughly 900 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador in South America, this chain of islands has been captivating explorers and outdoor adventure seekers for centuries. Thankfully its natural habitat is still very much intact. The volcanic islands are popular for wildlife spotting and marine activities.
Costa Rica – Central America’s popular destination has one-quarter of its land mass declared as national parks and protected lands so the adventure options are endless.
Antarctica – This vast continent not only boasts spectacular coastal scenery but the marine life sightings are equally stunning. Adventure cruises take guests to shore on inflatable zodiac boats for an easy and fun filled excursion. You can even step foot on icebergs!
Adventure cruise line options: Lindblad-National Geographic Expeditions, Aurora Expeditions, APT, Scenic, UnCruise Adventures, Windstar