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Australia & New Zealand cruise 2025


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Hi ☺️

 

my husband and I are looking in Australia and New Zealand cruise. I am looking at different cruise lines, but would still like your opinions.

 

the plan is to see as much as possible, the end port doesn’t have to be the same as the start port, less sea days.

 

I see that Norwegian has a cruise with start in Sydney and end in Auckland, many port days…

 

I would really appreciate your opinions and experiances… We are from Europe so this is a bucket list cruise with loooong travel 🙂 

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First of all, how long are you planning to spend in Australia/NZ? Just the cruise or time in each country prior and after the cruise?

 

What are your interests/what do you want to see?

When are you thinking of coming?

 

 

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Sorry for so litle info… here a little bit more 🙂

 

We are planning to spend max 3 weeks, beacuse of our jobs, we can’t get so much time off. I think if we have a max of 14 day cruise, maybe 2 days when we arrive in Sydney. 


When I look into cruises, I see that the option from NCL on 21st December 2025, to be a good option, it visits Melbourne, Eden, Tasmania, Milford Sound, and some more ports in New Zealand. 
it doesn’t visit Wellington (ehat do you think about this prot, is it a must see?) and I know it’s high season, with many people, so I’m looking maybe for some other cruise. 
But a lot of them are round trip, which automaticlly means fewer ports to see, more sea days…

I think a must is the Milford Sound and other Sounds, its good to see also Melbourne, if we are there. I guess we won’t have time to visit it after a cruise. 


We are felxible with the time when to visit, just looking into a really interesting cruise. 

 

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5 hours ago, tashaaa said:

Sorry for so litle info… here a little bit more 🙂

 

We are planning to spend max 3 weeks, beacuse of our jobs, we can’t get so much time off. I think if we have a max of 14 day cruise, maybe 2 days when we arrive in Sydney. 


When I look into cruises, I see that the option from NCL on 21st December 2025, to be a good option, it visits Melbourne, Eden, Tasmania, Milford Sound, and some more ports in New Zealand. 
it doesn’t visit Wellington (ehat do you think about this prot, is it a must see?) and I know it’s high season, with many people, so I’m looking maybe for some other cruise. 
But a lot of them are round trip, which automaticlly means fewer ports to see, more sea days…

I think a must is the Milford Sound and other Sounds, its good to see also Melbourne, if we are there. I guess we won’t have time to visit it after a cruise. 


We are felxible with the time when to visit, just looking into a really interesting cruise. 

 

I have done this type of cruise several times.  One cruise was never able to get past Christchurch (Lyttleton) sailing from Sydney, around the north island headed to Milford Sound.  So keep in mind weather may play a factor on what you get to see. 

 

Wellington has two (at least for me) attractions that are a big draw:  WETA aka Wellywood, and Te Papa museum.  Both Australia and New Zealand have so much to see/do so you do need to read up on what you want to see/do/accomplish on this trip. (So much to see/do, I think this is similar to the notion that some Europeans may have about coming to the US, and seeing "it all" in three weeks.  It simply cannot be done.  Don't get me started about how some may think they will simply just drive in a few short hours from NYC to LA.  LOL! )  Good luck with your research, and trying to decide which things are the most important to you. 🙂

 

I once upon a time did a land tour thinking I would never get back to NZ again. Then I did an around NZ from Sydney as a "one more then done" trip.  And since then I have done another around NZ cruise. LOL!  Now, I've got another set of cruises going to both Tasmania, another around NZ, with yet another one that ends up in SYD from southern Asia.  So yeah, so much to see/do, and I still haven't repeated much of anything. YMMV

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We’ve booked a 14 day Holland America cruise Sydney to Auckland in early 2025. Ports include Melbourne, Hobart, Milford fjord, Wellington and more NZ ports. The ship is the Westerdam, a smaller ship clas which we like. 

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10 hours ago, tashaaa said:

We are planning to spend max 3 weeks, beacuse of our jobs, we can’t get so much time off. I think if we have a max of 14 day cruise, maybe 2 days when we arrive in Sydney. 

There is a Celebrity cruise of 13 days which gives you 7 NZ ports plus the fjords. It is Sydney to Sydney and has 4 sea days but  you would see more of NZ than on the  NCL cruise and IMO the Eden & Burnie ports are a waste of time. Burnie is good because it has the option of Cradle Mountain but your ship doesn't arrive in port until 11.00am so that excursion is out.

 

With your other 7 days, fly into Sydney (before the cruise) and out of Melbourne to go home or visa versa.

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While NZ is well suited to cruises, having interesting places at sea ports, close to each other, Australia is less so with larger spreads between major ports, which is why the cruises don't visit many Aust ports so much, and are longer if they do.

 

In that light, and considering attractions at that time of year, I have an alternative suggestion. One of the highlights at that time of year in Sydney is New years fireworks so if the timing suits, you might consider visiting Sydney just before New years eve, and being here for the fireworks. 

 

There is then a Princess cruise on Jan 3 which covers I'd suggest the main destination ports in NZ. Although it is a round trip so you have extra sea days, Australia is best suited to land trips, so I'd look at flying on to a preferred place to visit after the cruise returns to Sydney e.g. Melbourne, Ayers Rock, Cairns or wherever, and getting an open jaw for the international flights and returning from there instead of Sydney.

 

Just a suggestion but that's probably what I'd be looking at in this scenario.

 

 

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9 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

While NZ is well suited to cruises, having interesting places at sea ports, close to each other, Australia is less so with larger spreads between major ports, which is why the cruises don't visit many Aust ports so much, and are longer if they do.

 

In that light, and considering attractions at that time of year, I have an alternative suggestion. One of the highlights at that time of year in Sydney is New years fireworks so if the timing suits, you might consider visiting Sydney just before New years eve, and being here for the fireworks. 

 

There is then a Princess cruise on Jan 3 which covers I'd suggest the main destination ports in NZ. Although it is a round trip so you have extra sea days, Australia is best suited to land trips, so I'd look at flying on to a preferred place to visit after the cruise returns to Sydney e.g. Melbourne, Ayers Rock, Cairns or wherever, and getting an open jaw for the international flights and returning from there instead of Sydney.

 

Just a suggestion but that's probably what I'd be looking at in this scenario.

 

 

I'd beg to differ and would suggest the opposite.. NZ is best suited for land-trips because it's so stunning and you just don't see the good stuff travelling by cruise-ship. It's much easier to do by land.. whereas Aussie is huge.. and you would spend all day in a car looking often at the same scenery.. and better to attack it by cruise-ship. Cities are usually near the ports.. and Aussie has the better cities. Whereas arguably.. NZ has some of the best scenery in the world if you're prepared to get inland to see it. 

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12 hours ago, Over from NZ said:

I'd beg to differ and would suggest the opposite.. NZ is best suited for land-trips because it's so stunning and you just don't see the good stuff travelling by cruise-ship. It's much easier to do by land.. whereas Aussie is huge.. and you would spend all day in a car looking often at the same scenery.. and better to attack it by cruise-ship. Cities are usually near the ports.. and Aussie has the better cities. Whereas arguably.. NZ has some of the best scenery in the world if you're prepared to get inland to see it. 

You say you would spend all day in a car looking at the same scenery... you'd spend multiple days on a ship looking at the same scenery before getting to the next major stop for Australia. A week on a ship, you've been to all the major cities in NZ, typically with 5 or even 6 stops. A week on a ship and you've only hit about 3 major cities in Australia, with fewer stops.

 

Hence, as said, why there are fewer multi-stop AU cruises, and all these AU/NZ cruises, including the ones in this thread have more stops in NZ than AU.

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Thank you all for the responses. 
I still need to think about all the options. We decided that for the first time visiting Australia and New Zealand, we do it on cruise. I know we will see just a little of both, but I think we can make a nice vacation.. 

Maybe there will be some more cruises listed if we do it at the end of 2025. 
I heard that maybe Azamara cruise can be a good one. Only worry that the ships are smaller and the Tasman Sea can be bumpy. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, tashaaa said:

Thank you all for the responses. 
I still need to think about all the options. We decided that for the first time visiting Australia and New Zealand, we do it on cruise. I know we will see just a little of both, but I think we can make a nice vacation.. 

Maybe there will be some more cruises listed if we do it at the end of 2025. 
I heard that maybe Azamara cruise can be a good one. Only worry that the ships are smaller and the Tasman Sea can be bumpy. 
 

 

We are doing 3 back to back cruises on Celebrity beginning March 3, 2025. The first goes south to wine country and is 9 nights, the second is around NZ and is 13 nights and the third goes up the east coast of Australia to Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach and is 10 nights.

All are round trip Sydney. You could choose 2 of the three for your 3 week vacation. Prices are reasonable and it's one of their newer ships, the Edge.

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7 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

A week on a ship, you've been to all the major cities in NZ, typically with 5 or even 6 stops. 

I have yet to hear of anyone who comes to New Zealand and raves about the spectacular beauty of our cities!😂

Very little of our magnificent scenery and landscapes are within a day's coach trip from any of our ports. On a cruise, you will barely scratch the surface.

Which is why most people recommend a land trip for NZ.

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We are on the 3 celebrity cruises in March 2025 too! can't wait. Will be a great way to see most of Aus and NZ with some down time to relax on sea days. There are 7 of us from Gainesville Fl coming!

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3 hours ago, Korimako said:

I have yet to hear of anyone who comes to New Zealand and raves about the spectacular beauty of our cities!😂

Very little of our magnificent scenery and landscapes are within a day's coach trip from any of our ports. On a cruise, you will barely scratch the surface.

Which is why most people recommend a land trip for NZ.

Exactly!! 100%!!! 

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18 hours ago, Korimako said:

I have yet to hear of anyone who comes to New Zealand and raves about the spectacular beauty of our cities!😂

Very little of our magnificent scenery and landscapes are within a day's coach trip from any of our ports. On a cruise, you will barely scratch the surface.

Which is why most people recommend a land trip for NZ.

 

If you want to advocate against people cruising to NZ, you're probably on the wrong forum.

 

In any case, the OP has said they want to visit by cruise, so I'm trying to answer for their scenario. Feel free to offer a constructive suggestion of your own, instead of just arguing without helping the OP.

 

And incidentally, I have heard many enjoy visiting the ports of Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, amongst others - including others in this thread. So not sure who you're hanging out with, but it's a poor claim to suggest cruising to NZ is not a good experience.

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On 2/11/2024 at 10:56 PM, tashaaa said:

Thank you all for the responses. 
I still need to think about all the options. We decided that for the first time visiting Australia and New Zealand, we do it on cruise. I know we will see just a little of both, but I think we can make a nice vacation.. 

Maybe there will be some more cruises listed if we do it at the end of 2025. 
I heard that maybe Azamara cruise can be a good one. Only worry that the ships are smaller and the Tasman Sea can be bumpy. 
 

 

I just did an enjoyable 11 day one way cruise from Auckland to Melbourne on Virgin's Resilient Lady.  This allowed me to spend time in both Auckland and Melbourne, which have a lot to offer visitors.

Cruises are constantly changing in Australia, so end of 2025 may have different choices than now.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/9/2024 at 5:14 PM, yarramar said:

There is a Celebrity cruise of 13 days which gives you 7 NZ ports plus the fjords. It is Sydney to Sydney and has 4 sea days but  you would see more of NZ than on the  NCL cruise and IMO the Eden & Burnie ports are a waste of time. Burnie is good because it has the option of Cradle Mountain but your ship doesn't arrive in port until 11.00am so that excursion is out.

 

With your other 7 days, fly into Sydney (before the cruise) and out of Melbourne to go home or visa versa.

There is an 11 day Celebrity Cruise in 2026 that has the same itinerary, but you disembark in Auckland, rather than taking the extra sea days to go back to Sydney.  I'm thinking of starting my vacation in Australia for a week or so, then doing that cruise to tour parts of NZ I wouldn't otherwise see and then having a few days in Auckland at the end before coming home. Hopefully it's a good plan.

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  • 3 months later...

We just booked a Princess cruise Auckland to Melbourne for 13 days in late February.  We realize we will only hit the port cities and miss the best scenery in New Zealand but perhaps we will be able to go back for a land tour someday.  We will spend a few days prior and post in Auckland and Melbourne.  We are really looking forward to seeing that part of the world.  We are seasoned cruisers and are looking for a new adventure.  

Bobbie

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On 2/12/2024 at 9:40 AM, The_Big_M said:

 

If you want to advocate against people cruising to NZ, you're probably on the wrong forum.

 

In any case, the OP has said they want to visit by cruise, so I'm trying to answer for their scenario. Feel free to offer a constructive suggestion of your own, instead of just arguing without helping the OP.

 

And incidentally, I have heard many enjoy visiting the ports of Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, amongst others - including others in this thread. So not sure who you're hanging out with, but it's a poor claim to suggest cruising to NZ is not a good experience.

It is exactly posts like Korimako’s that helped me in my decision to cancel an Australia/New Zealand cruise and do a self-drive tour of New Zealand’s north and south islands earlier this year.  I don’t see it as advocating against cruising to NZ at all, but rather helping somebody decide how to best see a country that, due to extensive air travel and cost, may be the only opportunity one gets to visit.  I’m sure that I would have enjoyed visiting NZ by cruise ship, and I found Auckland and Christchurch to be nice cities (but not worth traveling halfway-around-the-world nice), but they didn’t hold a candle to the breathtaking views in Mt. Cook and Queenstown.

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