It’s a great time to get out and about again and although we can’t go “anywhere” we want in the world, the majority of us can go anywhere we want to go in Australia.
If you’re having trouble deciding what to do, or you have an idea of where you want to go, and you’re after a holiday with a difference, a cruise is a perfect option.
With an itinerary that’s already set, cruises offer a stress-free holiday option that provide excellent value for money.
Carnival Cruise Line offers everything from simple three-day getaway cruises that are ideal for first-time cruisers or those with limited time, through to 10-day adventures that will take you into open East Coast waters and north to the Great Barrier Reef.
Where to go and for how long
Departing from both capitals, three-day cruises take you out to explore local waters, into the open ocean and back, as you enjoy the onboard facilities.
These getaways give you a great taste of life onboard – and they’re an ideal way to escape the pressures of life and technology, too.
If you have an extra day, why not take a cruise from Brisbane up to Airlie Beach and jump on a shore excursion to see the Whitsunday Islands?
You’ll sail past secret beaches teeming with white sands, admire the view of the Great Barrier Reef from the deck, and you’ll have a full day to explore the beauty of Airlie Beach itself, including the lagoon, boardwalk, and local shops and markets (if you’re there on a Saturday).
From Sydney, a four-day cruise will take you up to Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island, where you’ll have a full day off-ship to explore the beautiful beaches near Tangalooma Island Resort.
Book in a Sea Scooter Safari to get up close to the famous Tangalooma Shipwrecks, which were deliberately sunk in the 1960s to create a break wall for small boats. In that time, they have become home and a haven to abundant coral and marine life.
Further itineraries departing Sydney will take you past Victoria and across into Tasmanian waters, where you’ll cruise through to the Tasman Peninsula, stopping off at the historic Port Arthur site on five-day cruises.
This World Heritage-listed site is one of the best-preserved convict sites in Australia and is a former penal colony steeped in history.
Enjoy a day exploring here, before setting sail for the capital Hobart*, where you can explore the convict-era architecture, Salamanca Market, museums, shopping, parks, and much more. (*Port orders vary).
The best of the ocean
If you’re planning a cruise, you likely already have a love of the ocean, and without a doubt, one of the most popular destinations in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef.
With Carnival Cruise Line, you can set sail to this impressive World Heritage playground, departing Brisbane for seven days and Sydney for 10 days.
Explore the world’s largest and longest coral reef system, stretching more than 2,300 kilometres in length – with more than 2,900 reefs and 900 islands.
Cruise along the Coral Sea with dolphins alongside and, if you depart between June and October, you might even share the waters with majestic humpback whales, as they make their annual migration.
The Great Barrier Reef is so magnificent it can be seen from outer space, and it is home to more than 1,500 fish species, 134 species of sharks and rays, six species of marine turtle and more than 30 species of marine mammals.
If you’ve never been, a Great Barrier Reef cruise is a must-have on your bucket list.
Why choose an Aussie cruise?
Aside from the views and exploration experience, a domestic cruise also offers much more.
To start with, departing and cruising locally means you don’t have to worry about passports and visas.
With flights now back in action between most capital cities and relaxation on quarantine rules for most states, you can easily book a flight to get to Sydney or Brisbane for departure. This saves you any stress in the preparation.
With Carnival, all you need to do is choose your cruise, pack your bags and arrive at the cruise terminal. Carnival handles the rest.
If you’re on limited holiday leave, you won’t waste any time waiting around in airport lounges or trying to find your hotels. Instead, you’ll have one room for the entire journey, and all you need to do is wake up each day, make your way to the dining room or the pool, and start enjoying the view.
There are days where you will have the choice to leave the ship and explore the mainland, while other days the toughest decision you’ll have is whether you want 24/7 pizza or a la carte dining.
There’s plenty on board to keep the entire family happy, including waterslides, swimming pools, karaoke, an international food plaza, piano bar, seaside movies, spa and even the adults-only Carnival Serenity Retreat. But by far the best thing about a cruise is that everything is done for you.
Once you’re onboard and have your room settled, all you need to worry about is what you’re going to do next. Your meals are all prepared for you, your room is attended to by friendly cabin stewards, and you have your own “driver” taking you to some of Australia’s most intriguing destinations.
What more could you want?