FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Cruise Through Australia, New Zealand And Southeast Asia

Mar 1, 2015
2015 / February 2015

In terms of cruise destinations, Australia and New Zealand account for only about 6 percent of the global itinerary, and Southeast Asia even less, according to CLIA, a trade association of international cruise lines. Yet these less-sailed regions encompass some of the most breathtaking ports in the world, making the Australasia region — with its treasure-house of natural sights and cultural landmarks — well worth a distant voyage.

The main cruising season in Australia runs from September to April, summertime in the Southern Hemisphere. Passengers from the West often arrive a few days early, not only to combat jet lag but also to enjoy Australia’s cities, animal parks, beaches and wineries before hitting the high seas. From Australia a variety of cruise ships sail to the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania and Australia’s other ports; cross the South Pacific to explore New Zealand and smaller islands; or fan out toward Bali, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

These days, as the cruise industry in Australia booms, major international cruise lines are increasing their presence. Carnival Cruise Line added the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend out of Sydney to its Australia-based fleet late last year, and Royal Caribbean is placing the 3,114-passenger Explorer of the Seas in the mix for the 2015–2016 season. Celebrity Cruises positioned two of its ships — the 2,852-passenger Celebrity Solstice and the 1,814-passenger Celebrity Century — in the Southern Hemisphere, with departures from Sydney and Fremantle in Australia and from Auckland in New Zealand. Holland America Line now bases two of its 15 ships in Sydney during the southern summer season. Later this year, its 1,918-passenger ms Noordam makes a 14-day journey from Sydney to Auckland, departing Oct. 25 and taking in Melbourne, Tasmania, Milford Sound, Christchurch and Wellington; while its 1,440-passenger ms Volendam visits the Great Barrier Reef on its way from Sydney to Singapore during a 17-night cruise departing Nov. 21.

Princess Cruises, well known for its circumnavigations of the Australian continent, bases three of its ships in Australia: the Sun Princess, the Sea Princess and the Dawn Princess. The 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess offers many 13-day cruises to New Zealand from its Melbourne home port, and the 1,950-passenger Sun Princess has scheduled a seven-day Brisbane roundtrip departing Aug. 30 this year with stops at the Australia Zoo and the Great Barrier Reef, an ideal introduction to the best of the sea life and wildlife in Australia.

British-owned and -styled P&O Cruises, which has carried tourists to and from Australia since the 1930s, operates five ships sailing out of eight Australian harbors to 28 ports in Australia, 27 in the South Pacific, 10 in New Zealand and 25 in Southeast Asia. P&O operates in the region year-round, offering more than 140 southern Pacific cruises annually, with voyages to such exotic locations as Kangaroo Island and Papua New Guinea. Their ships hold 1,260 to 1,624 passengers, most of them exuberant Aussies.

Several small luxury ships also call on Australia and New Zealand, including the 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey, which offers a 17-day Auckland-to-Sydney voyage departing Jan. 27, 2016. This itinerary takes passengers to Wellington, Christchurch and the Milford Sound in New Zealand before crossing to Australia, where it calls on two ports in Tasmania. Crystal Cruises’ 960-passenger Crystal Symphony, an especially elegant vessel, is scheduled to make a 15-night Auckland-to-Melbourne run in December 2016 that calls on Doubtful Sound, three times larger than nearby Milford Sound. The Crystal cruise also spends three days in Sydney and two in Melbourne.

Many of these same ships serving Australia also cruise the waters of Southeast Asia, where the regional market for cruises is growing rapidly, too. To avoid the hottest weather and monsoon rains, the majority of cruise passengers sail November through March. The main cruising route stretches between Hong Kong and Singapore, with shopping stops and shore excursions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Among premium cruise lines that ply the waters of Southeast Asia is Regent Seven Seas. The 708-passenger Seven Seas Voyager makes a 33-night voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong starting Jan. 18, 2016, calling on ports in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and, for three days, Myanmar. Another luxury line, Oceania Cruises, sails a similar route. Its 16-day “Pagodas and Palaces” cruise aboard the 684-passenger Insignia, with upcoming departures on Oct. 10 this year and Jan. 8, 2016, is highlighted by a visit to the towering limestone islands of Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site. Silversea Cruises departs Nov. 22 this year on a nine-day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore aboard the 388-passenger Silver Shadow which also includes an extended look at Vietnam, including two days in Ha Long Bay. Azamara Club Cruises, yet another high-end operator, sails the same Southeast Asian seas from January to April on 10- to 14-day voyages focusing either on Vietnam or Indonesia. The 686-passenger Azamara Quest also offers some cruises in Australian waters.

One of the prime attractions in Southeast Asia is river cruising, particularly on the Mekong River which flows through Vietnam and Cambodia. Viking River Cruises, best known for its luxury European river cruises, has dedicated its 60-passenger Viking Mekong, launched in 2014, to servicing 15-day cruise tours that run from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) January through October. After visiting the magnificent temple ruins at Siem Reap, including Angkor Wat, visitors take an eight-day cruise on the Mekong to Ho Chi Minh City.

Expedition on the Mekong River aboard Lindblad’s 48-passenger Jahan

Expedition on the Mekong River aboard Lindblad’s 48-passenger Jahan © Lindblad Expeditions

Adventurous travelers seeking even more out-of-the-way places to cruise in Southeast Asia and Australia are well-served by Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic. The company’s 106-passenger Orion cruises the Kimberly Coast of Northwest Australia as well as the Spice Islands, Borneo, Sri Lanka, Bali and Papua New Guinea. Lindblad’s 14-day expeditions on the Mekong River aboard the 48-passenger Jahan sail a Siem Reap–Ho Chi Minh City route through Vietnam and Cambodia with five departures January through March in 2016.

Particularly for first-time travelers to the far side of the Pacific, a luxury or expedition cruise makes travel through unfamiliar regions easy. The landscapes are exotic, the sights arresting and the cultures fascinating, creating a remarkably different cruise setting from what voyagers experience on the Atlantic side of the world.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 22, 2021

La Concha Hotel Puerto Rico Review

Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha.  As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

September 2021
Sep 21, 2021

Retreat into Luxurious Stillness at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.

Daily
Sep 21, 2021

7 Reasons to Put Nice, France, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.

Experiencing GBTA Convention 2021
Safely and Responsibly

GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.

Daily
Sep 21, 2021

Fall and Winter Offerings in New Orleans

New Orleans draws visitors with exciting events this fall and winter.

September 2021
Sep 16, 2021

Philadelphia’s Fairmount Boasts Impressive Collections and a Friendly Vibe

As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

Daily
Sep 16, 2021

Rosewood San Francisco to Open in 2026

Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.