Top places to cruise around Australasia

By Anthea Batsakis 9 September 2015
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Cruising on the seas is the best way to see some of the more remote locations around Australia and the region

SETTING SAIL ON THE high seas to explore uncharted territories is an adventure that calls from the bow of a cruise ship. Australia and its territories and neighbours are surrounded by ocean, and some for some of these regions you only see them, or their best side, from the seas.

In the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise ship, opportunities for exploration in these areas abound, whether you’re watching humpback whales breach Antarctic waters or meeting orangutans in the jungles of Borneo.

With the unique ecosystem of Antarctica at Australia’s feet and the warm tropical waters to the north, cruising around Australasia offers an array of experiences that are unrivalled by other means of travel.

Here are some of the top remote places to cruise to:

Kimberley Coast

Cruise the Kimberley Coast and discover one of Australia’s most remote locations, unchanged by human activity. Only from the seas can you look up and feel the spray of stunning waterfalls and learn about the surrounding ancient ecosystem from guides aboard.

The Kimberley’s warm tropical water is alive with vibrant coral and countless fish, inviting a vast array of sea birds to the coast. But perhaps the most unforgettable sights are the prevalence of majestic humpback whales, dugongs, hammerhead sharks, and spinner dolphins. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive blue whale.

South Georgia Island and Antarctica

Antarctica and South Georgia Island are among the Earth’s wildest places. Renowned for its unique wildlife, the Antarctic is best experienced up close and personal – travelling to the region via cruise ship with companies like Aurora Expeditions. Visitors can watch as ice bergs tinged blue pass by and ice shelves tower above. You also may have the option of adventure extras, like kayaking or diving.

As a gateway to Antarctica, South Georgia is often referred to as an ‘Antarctic Oasis’ as it hosts thousands of breeding penguins on its two glaciers that flank Salisbury Plain. The breathtaking landscape explodes with the sounds of king penguins, elephant seals and seabirds, while various species of whales glide around the coast.

South Pacific

Home to dense jungles, white sands and warm waters, islands in the South Pacific are unmatched in their vibrant colours and rich culture. From Fiji and Vanuatu to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Indonesia, taking a cruise ship to the remote areas in these parts provide incredible diving and snorkelling opportunities. These islands lie within the ‘coral triangle’ – a marine gem home to more than 600 coral species. Learn about the fascinating indigenous and tribal cultures and explore the islands from their eyes.

A variety of cruise lines travel about these islands, including Cruise About, P&O Cruises and Heritage Expeditions.

South-East Asia/East Indies

Travel across the seas from Manila to Darwin surrounded by the backdrop of the open ocean, where an adventure awaits at every stop. These tropical cruises that traverse islands of the East Indies, offered by cruise lines such as APT, provide exciting opportunities to snorkel or kayak in the Philippines, explore the jungles in Indonesia, and encounter orangutans in Malaysian Borneo.

In this island dominant part of the world, relatively unknown regions can be explored by arriving from the ocean as the coastal limestone cliffs and dense jungles cannot easily be navigated from land.

The Great Australian Bight

Traverse the Great Australian Bight and discover some of Australia’s most exciting cities from a seaward perspective. Departing from Perth, then travelling through to Adelaide, Melbourne, and finally ending in Sydney, you can discover the wilderness that dominates these cities. The Great Australian Bight is home to the largest breeding population of the endangered southern right whale, which travel from Antarctica to nurse their calves.

From exciting cities to towering coastal cliffs and fascinating marine life – including colonies of sea lions, white bellied eagles and albatross – cruise from Perth to Sydney along Australia’s southern coastline and discover Australia from all perspectives.

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