It’s not just us folk at Market Magazine who can’t wait to hit the deck. Joel Katz, Managing Director of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, says: “Cruising is making a strong comeback and we are now seeing a renewed enthusiasm for cruise travel among Australians, who have long been some of the world’s most passionate cruisers.
“Cruise lines are reporting strong bookings, several years into the future. We’re also seeing renewed confidence among cruisers – the number of past passengers who say they’ll cruise again in coming years is now back at levels similar to those before the pandemic.
“Cruising has returned only recently to Australasia, but as we move into summer we’re going to see more ships returning to our part of the world, opening up new cruise options around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.”
With so many cruises available, choosing yours will be exciting in itself. Here are just a few to whet your appetite.
Magic At Sea With Disney
Disney Cruise Line is coming to Australia and New Zealand with a limited season of magical vacations from late 2023. The ‘Disney Magic at Sea’ sailings on Disney Wonder will feature characters from Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, as well as imaginative dining and spectacular entertainment. Two-to-six-night cruises will depart from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.
Prima makes a splash!
Norwegian Prima – Norwegian Cruise Line’s brand-new ship, named by Katy Perry in Iceland in September – is the first of six brand-new Prima Class cruise ships. Prima offers the
most outdoor deck space and expansive accommodation of any new build. She has the largest and first three-level racetrack at sea on the Prima Speedway, as well as The Drop, a 10-storey plunge experience. Other onboard standouts include Ocean Boulevard, Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk.
Cunard on sale
With Queen Elizabeth’s Australian season fast approaching, now is the time to save with Cunard’s popular Annual Savings Event. Book your dream escape with savings of up to 25 per cent on select voyages onboard the three Queens. The offer includes itineraries across Cunard’s 22-23 and 23-24 Australia and New Zealand home port seasons, Asia, Europe, Transatlantic Crossings, and the Americas. Book before 30 November 2022. Also, check ‘Australia’s Gardening Journey’, departing Melbourne on February 4, 2023.
There be dragons
Australian cruise company Coral Expeditions has announced exciting voyages in the remote islands of the East Indies, with Komodo, Sulawesi and Borneo on the agenda. Visit Lembata Island, with one of the last subsistence whaling communities, then to the Kelimutu crater lakes on the island of Flores to encounter endemic wildlife including the famed orangutan and illusive sun bear in Borneo. Swim with harmless jellyfish at the Togean Islands with some of the most exquisite dive and snorkel opportunities in the world. And, of course, you may run into endangered Komodo dragons. The tours include 14 nights ‘In the Wake of the Makassans’ itinerary onboard the Coral Geographer; a 20-night circumnavigation of Sulawesi, and the 14-night ‘Into the Wilds of Borneo’ voyage, from Makassar to Singapore.
Take me to the river
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises reveals what’s new for its 2023 and 2024 collections, which elevate river cruising to a whole new level of luxury. The 2023-24 program will offer three new Rhine cruises, an extended Mekong itinerary, a new cruise and rail pairing in India, and fresh extension offerings – as well as delivering the award-winning service and luxurious fleet that Uniworld is renowned for.
One of the new itineraries is the
15-day Grand Central Europe expedition that will cruise on the Rhine, Main
and Danube Rivers through to Belgium’s magical Christmas markets – offering delicious holiday treats at the most festive time of the year.
HIP, HIP Hurtigruten!
Turning 130 is a big deal, and for Hurtigruten, signifies a long and rich maritime heritage that started with the Norwegian Coastal Express in 1893. To celebrate this milestone, Hurtigruten has launched two new offerings for 2023,
the Svalbard Express and North Cape Express, onboard the M.S. Trollfjord, which is undergoing a full refurbishment in time for these special sailings.
The new 16-day Svalbard Express itinerary will include some of the Norwegian coast’s most popular destinations, such as the Lofoten Islands, Vesterålen, and the North Cape, before heading north to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, the world’s northernmost populated city. The North Cape Express itinerary, also 16 days, takes guests to Oslo, the capital of Norway, and both the country’s southernmost and northernmost points.