EDITOR”S NOTE: In today’s post, The Young Cruiser, Nicholas Purnell, explains why it’s a great time to take an Australian cruise…

When people think of Australia they think of dangerous animals, kangaroos everywhere and “throwing another shrimp (prawn) on the barbie,” although, these are all false. The real association that should be made with Australia is cruising. Australia has the largest growth of local cruising passengers worldwide with a 20.4 percent increase compared to 2014, to a staggering 1,003,256 cruisers in one year alone. This growth has created Australia’s market in the industry with 4.2 percent of the Australian population cruising last year, soaring above the North American market at 3.4 percent.

Cruising within Australia is dominated by two main companies, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited and Carnival Corporation (made up of Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Holland America Line). Among these two companies, there are three lines that are extremely popular: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises. Each cruise line targets a particular “crowd” or age group. P&O is aimed at young adults, Princess swings towards the retired crowd and my personal favorite, Carnival, targets families and young adults.

These cruises depart from practically every major Australian city [Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle (Perth) and Cairns] and visit all over the country, as far north as Darwin to as far south as Port Arthur. However, most overseas passengers I have spoken to believe Sydney and Melbourne are the highlights of any Australian cruise.

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and is also the most visited by overseas tourists with attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Tower Eye right in the heart of the city. If getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city is your thing, the Blue Mountains are located only a few short hours away, and there, tourists are amazed at the fabulous forests and nature trails and the stunning rock formation that is the Three Sisters.

Melbourne (my home town) is the cultural capital of Australia as home to many exotic shops, restaurants and cafes, with the best ones hidden throughout laneways sprayed with local art. Although it is not as big as Sydney in size, it makes up for it with pure flavor, uniqueness and community. The many rooftop bars and CBD (CBD is a Grid) are generally easy to navigate.

When visiting Australia, cruisers also have the option to plan a “Main Events” cruise that may include a ticket to said event hosted in a popular city. The current ones available include:

  • The Melbourne Cup: “the race that stops a nation”
  • The Australian Tennis Open hosted in Melbourne
  • Australia Day: celebrate the best way possible sailing throughout Sydney Harbour

Cruise lines are looking to expand this idea to other events to create a more unique experience for the cruiser.

The future of Australian cruising is extremely bright as many cruise lines are trying to attract people to take an Australian cruise. Carnival Cruise Line recently dry-docked Carnival Spirit for a Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade including WaterWorks and the thrilling Green Thunder waterslide and Serenity adults-only retreat. Carnival has also brought Carnival Legend to dock in Sydney for the 2015/2016 season.

Royal Caribbean is also bringing its upcoming Ovation of the Seas to Australia for the 2016/2017 summer season, calling Sydney home. This ship will feature the North Star, Ripcord by iFly, SeaPlex (an indoor area used for roller skating, bumper cars and more), a Bionic Bar, the famous FlowRider and 18 restaurants. With 4,180 passengers at full capacity, this truly will be the largest cruise ship to call Australia home.

If partying is your thing, Australia has announced their first ever cruise ship music festival, named Sea ‘N Beats, which will take place aboard Pacific Dawn and feature some of the biggest Australian DJs such as Alison Wonderland, Safia, The Kite String Tangle and Touch Sensitive to name a few. This has had such a big impact among the 18-30 year-old demographic that all the cabins available have nearly sold out. This in turn may cause a higher number of this age demo to book a regular cruise.

Princess Cruises is also bringing a new ship to Australia for the 2015/2016 Season. Golden Princess will be based in Melbourne. The 2,636 passenger capacity ship contains 4 swimming pools, 9 spas, 10 restaurants and 7 bars and lounges. This will be the largest ship to be based in Melbourne. Princess Cruises is offering maiden voyages to the South Pacific upon Golden Princess and Diamond Princess.

Australia is an amazing country with a unique array of people, culture and experiences. With cruising becoming a huge industry here, there has never been a better time to partake in an Australian cruise, and it will change your life!

~ ~ Written By The Young Cruiser, Nicholas Purnell ~ ~

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HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

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