Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 62 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
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FOR LOVERS OF...
Cruising With 13,000km of
WA coastline to explore,
there’s much to see. It’s no
wonder that cruising is the
fastest-growing sector of
Australia’s travel industry
ome 466,000 people took a cruise
in Australia last year, more than
quadruple the figure for 2002.
Among those getting on board are
baby boomers, families, friends and corporate
groups – proving there’s no stereotype for a
cruise passenger. All are lured by the unique
combination of luxury and adventure that a
cruise experience offers.
Some of the world’s most eminent ocean
liners, such as the Queen Mary 2 or Oasis of the
Seas, are longer than 340m. With a capacity of
more than 3000 passengers, these mammoth
vessels are equivalent to the size of a small
town – albeit a very luxurious one.
On-board experiences can include anything
from fine restaurants to spas and casinos,
and even aqua parks, rock climbing and
golfing facilities. There is also an increasing
trend towards theme cruises and customised
passenger experiences – and that’s before you
even get to the dry land attractions.
For an exploration-style experience, head north into
the vast Kimberley region. Explore a maze of nearly
3000 islands along the coast between Broome and
Darwin, the birthing ground of humpback whales.
Bushwalks off the boat take you to galleries of ancient
rock art and remote, idyllic swimming holes.
Most itineraries are from Broome to Darwin,
stopping in Wyndham and return. Smaller vessels offer
a more intimate journey and better access to remote
places, ideal for fishing enthusiasts chasing the elusive
barramundi – the most prized catch on any boat.
Deciding on a cruise can be daunting, so we asked an
industry expert for his tips. Jason is General Manager
with Oceania Cruises and has also worked for Princess
Cruises, Coral Princess Cruises, Silversea Cruises and
The World of ResidenSea. Originally from Canada, he
has lived in Perth since 1995.
1. Do not judge a cruise on price alone.
Consider the pitfalls of cruising out of season
(rough seas, bad weather, closed shops and
attractions), the location of your cabin, what
is and isn’t included (you may end up paying
more in extras than the original price) and
check the distance to the advertised port from
the actual docking location.
2. If you are susceptible to seasickness, book a
cabin in the middle of the ship on a lower deck.
3. Connect with potential shipmates in advance
via websites such as cruisecritic.com or
4. Check the weather history for your cruise
area. South America, Alaska and even New
Zealand can see you hit all four seasons during
your cruise. Pack accordingly.
5. Gratuities are standard in cruising. Some
companies include this in your fare, and some
do not. The excuse “in Australia we do not tip”
does not work when you travel overseas.
6. Get to know the some of the crew.
7. Nothing beats a great travel agent. If you
find one, stick with them.
Insider tips | Jason A. Gelineau
THE QUEEN MARY 2 | Returning to Fremantle,
WA’s marquee port, in February 2012 as part of its
first ever circumnavigation of Australia, the journey
will see her visit eight ports including Cairns, Darwin,
the Whitsundays and Melbourne. The grand ship will
then head on a world voyage, taking in Hong Kong,
Dubai, Cape Town and Hiroshima.
P&O CRUISES | Also departing from Fremantle,
this leading Australian operator offers several
itineraries for the second half of 2011. Cruises range
from three to 16 nights, and include destinations to
Asia, Sydney and the West Australian coast, calling at
Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome.
CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL CRUISES |
Offering its first ever line voyage from Australia
to Europe via South Africa (instead of the Suez
Canal) next year, the mid-sized, 600-passenger
Athena will end her annual season in Australia by
sailing from Perth on April 14, 2012, to Portsmouth
in the UK. It will stop at Reunion, St Helena,
Ascension, Canary and the Cape Verde Islands
as well as Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco and
Athena’s home base of Portugal.
AURORA EXPEDITIONS | Aurora takes you to
some of the most wild and remote areas in the world.
Employing small ships carrying only 54 passengers,
it offers over 200 voyages to Antarctica, Papua New
Guinea, Russia and the Arctic.
QM2 leaving Fremantle (Photography Wings Photographics).
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