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
March 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Venture Out in Vienna, a City of Opulence and Grace

Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.

Daily
Mar 8, 2021

Redeem AAdvantage Miles for At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.

January/February 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Take Time to Indulge in Well-Being at Canyon Ranch Lenox

Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.

Daily
Mar 5, 2021

3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

eFlyer News
Mar 3, 2021

Explore Fairbanks Highlights New Aurora Tracker Video

The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Gaylord Hotels Announces Spring Specials

Gaylord Hotels invites guests to Spring It On at Gaylord Texan, Gaylord Rockies, Gaylord Palms and Gaylord Opryland. March 12–May 16, craft the perfect spring break getaway with Gaylord’s themed family programming and more.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Workcation Offer at Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.