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Destination focus: Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand: Destination focus

The people of Australia and New Zealand are going through hard times. But these destinations will emerge from their difficulties – and tourism will be at the heart of that recovery.

The record-breaking temperatures in Australia and New Zealand have caused significant damage and upset for all in the region. However, this is a region full of wonder, and it is that wonder and the world-class experiences on offer, as well as the support of the travel trade, that will see it emerge from its current situation.

Australia’s combination of beaches, adventure and sophisticated city experience makes for a brilliant cruise pairing with the twin islands of New Zealand, which were described in a recent ABTA report as “an alluring mix of Polynesia and Europe”.

“As a recognised top destination for 2020 travel, Australia and New Zealand cruises attract travellers looking for less frequented areas with an innovative culinary scene, abundant cultural experiences and immersive attractions,” says Seabourn senior vice-president of global sales and marketing Chris Austin.

“The region has so much to offer that, though it’s a longer journey to get there, the resulting experience is really worth it.”

Australia and New Zealand: destination focus
The cosmopolitan city of Sydney has hundreds of cultural attractions
Size and style

The chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is just one of the highlights.

Other natural wonders that can be discovered during shore excursions include the sacred sandstone monolith known as Uluru, in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the penguins of Phillip Island near Melbourne, and Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory, which is famed for its Aboriginal rock paintings.

Silversea sales director UK, Ireland, Middle East & Africa Connie Georgiou explains: “Our Australia and New Zealand programme is very popular with baby boomers who are time rich.”

From classical music concerts and other events in Sydney’s iconic white-winged Opera House to exploring Melbourne’s labyrinth of streets packed with artisan stores, art galleries and trendy cafes, Australia has plenty to offer culture vultures, too.

“The sheer size of the region means that there really is something for everyone, whether it’s a classic cruise with overnights in iconic cities such as Sydney and Melbourne and trips to the stunning Great Barrier Reef, or a longer cruise that includes New Zealand’s stunning Lord of the Ring landscapes,” adds Georgiou.

Australia and New Zealand: Destination focus
From Auckland city’s epic Sky Tower to sensational reef diving, New Zealand has it all
A tale of two islands

Most of the major lines that run cruises out of Australia also have its near neighbour New Zealand on their itineraries for 2020.

Highlights in the land of the friendly Kiwis – which is actually two large islands separated by the Cook Strait – include Wellington, capital of North Island, which is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York. Here passengers can enjoy wandering along the waterfront or riding in the city’s historic cable car to appreciate the mesmerising views from Kelburn Lookout.

Austin adds: “A cruise is a great gateway to exciting experiences such as exploring the Rotorua Geothermal Wonderland, joining a Seal Coast Safari in Wellington, or experiencing a vintage steam train, wine and wildlife excursion.”

Although North Island has the finest white sand beaches, the larger South Island has the Marlborough Sounds, a vast region of coves and waterways, where it’s possible to swim with bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and other marine residents.

“If guests are returning to New Zealand,” says Georgiou, “they could also consider adding an expedition into the rarely explored Sub Antarctic region.”

October to April is the busy season for Southern Hemisphere cruises, although many lines operate itineraries throughout the year.

As Cunard sales director Gary Anslow says: “Australia and New Zealand offer awe-inspiring landscapes, incredible and unique wildlife, towering mountains and stunning verdant valleys.”

Australia and New Zealand: destination focus
Travel in style with Princess Cruises
Selling tips

Sell the variety

“From adventure seekers and beach dwellers to foodies and culture lovers, this region offers so many rich opportunities – there’s a huge variety of experiences to offer clients,” says Seabourn’s Chris Austin.

Know your stuff

“This is such a vast region and there are so many different things to see and do that it’s essential for agents to understand what kind of holiday a client is after,” says Silversea’s Connie Georgiou.

Add attractions

“Passengers should make the most of their cruise by adding on pre or post-tours. Guests should also understand that many major sites, including the Great Barrier Reef, are not accessible on larger cruise ships,” says Oceania Cruises senior vice-president and managing director EMEA Bernard Carter.

Australia and New Zealand: Destination focus
Get a chance to see the incredible wildlife

A tale of two islands

Most of the major lines that run cruises out of Australia also have its near neighbour New Zealand on their itineraries for 2020.

Silversea: Sub Antarctica

Silversea’s 14-day New Zealand Sub Antarctica cruise departs Dunedin on 21 December 2020, calling at Stewart Island, Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, Enderby & Auckland Islands, and Ulva Island. Prices from £10,980pp for an Adventurer suite.

Celebrity Cruises: Around the sounds

Celebrity Cruises’ 12-night Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand cruise departs Sydney on 29 October 2020, calling at Hobart, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington and Picton. Prices from £1,359pp for an inside cabin.

Princess Cruises: Lord of the Rings

Princess Cruises’ 14-day New Zealand cruise departs from Brisbane on 25 January 2021, calling at Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and Fiordland National Park. Prices from £1,244pp for an interior cabin.

Royal Caribbean: Iconic sights

Royal Caribbean’s five-night Tasmania itinerary departs Sydney on 12 December 2020, calling at Port Arthur and Hobart. Prices from £451pp for an interior cabin.

Viking Cruises: Culture voyage

Viking’s 15-day Auckland to Sydney cruise departs Auckland on 23 December 2020, calling at Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney. Prices from £6,790pp for a Veranda suite.

Azamara: Deep dive

Azamara’s 18-night Australia Intensive Voyage departs Sydney on 23 February 2021, calling at Brisbane, Mooloolaba, Airlie beach, Cairns, Darwin, Benoa and Singapore. Prices from £4,660pp for an inside cabin.

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