Australia cruises are popular year round. Whether you want to explore the Great Barrier Reef, or just enjoy the crystal waters while cruising, this destination is great all year for this. If you are planning a cruise in Australia there are several things you need to know about. Here are some important facts and useful tips to keep in mind.
USA to Australia
If you plan on flying from the United States to a port location in Australia for your Australia cruises, you need to be aware of the time difference. On these flights you will cross the International Date Line. This means you lose a day. The flight itself will also take an entire day to complete. The reason this is important to remember is because if you plan on flying out the day before the cruise, you will miss it entirely. You need to plan to leave the U.S. at least 2 days in advance to make up for the lost day. This is the only way to ensure you make it aboard the ship. Most travel agents suggest leaving 3 or 4 days prior though. This gives you time to rest and get your bearings before you jump onboard.
Believe it or not, Australia does require that all people visiting from the United States or Canada obtain a visitor’s visa. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. They are inexpensive, under $40, and can be obtained electronically. If your cruise line doesn’t advise you on how to do this, you can apply on your own at www.zvs.com.
Planning Australia Cruises
You need to look carefully before you just pick a discount cruise. Since Australia cruises are so popular, there are tons of cruise deals to be found. However, the deals may not be what you are looking for. You need to look at where the ships plan on docking. It may sound like it should, but not every ship will stop for people to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Check to make sure the cruise package actually includes activities you are looking forward to. Many of the cruise ships that sail from Australia to New Zealand are more marketed to locals. As a result, not as many of them will stop at the Reef. If this is a must, look for cruises from Australia to parts of Asia. These typically include a stop at Cairns or the Whitsunday Islands, both ports that offer access to the Reef.
Weather and Seasons
While in the United States we can experience very hot summers with winters that dip more than 50 degrees below the summer temperatures, Australia isn’t like this. It’s important to remember that the seasons are reversed in this area of the world as well. Australia and New Zealand actually have a fairly tropical climate. The most popular time for Australia cruises is from December through May. This also happens to coincide with the typhoon season, so just be aware. Cruising in the winter months in this region won’t disappoint you either. It will be much cooler, and there may be some activities that you won’t be able to participate in, but for the most part it’s still a wonderful cruise experience.
If you are willing to cruise during the off season, you can find great Australia cruise packages at a discount. You can also find deals by booking far in advance. Since Australia is such popular cruise destination, the cruise ships tend to book quickly. You’ll need to book in advance anyhow for these excursions. If you decide not to go during the off season, remember travel insurance. You don’t have to purchase it through the cruise line itself. You can find insurance through independent companies that will offer lower prices. Just be sure that you check in to the company to make sure they are legitimate. Since Australia cruises have become more popular, the prices have dropped in recent years, making them much more affordable now.