How to sell: Australia and New Zealand cruises

How to sell: Australia and New Zealand cruises

Cruise expert Jane Archer shares her top tips on how to sell Australia and New Zealand cruises

Cruise expert Jane Archer shares her top tips on how to sell Australia and New Zealand cruises

It’s been more than two years since cruise lines were banned from Australia and New Zealand, but at last they have been given the green light to resume operations Down Under. Cruise lines, ports and all the ancillary businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific that relied on the cruise industry for their incomes can now start to rebuild what had been a booming sector before Covid struck, reaching 1.35m passengers in 2019. For the trade, the reopening is a fantastic opportunity to cash-in on pent-up demand for travel to these countries. Past cruisers are an easy sell, but why not encourage clients planning a big trip to Australia or New Zealand or those finally able to visit friends and family after so long apart to weave a cruise into their travel plans. We look at options for big and small ship cruises in Australia and New Zealand.

Top four selling tips for Australia and New Zealand cruises 

  1. A cruise is a wonderful holiday for friends and family being reunited after more than two years apart.
  2. The choice of cruises Down Under is huge, catering to families, luxury travellers, adventurers, city lovers and more.
  3. A cruise is the best way to travel in New Zealand as so many of its cities and key attractions are on the coast.
  4. Several cruise lines offer ready-made cruise-and-stay packages that combine a voyage with included tours of popular attractions inland.

Big ships

Whether clients fancy seeing the Great Barrier Reef, sipping wine in one of the many vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, getting up close to kangaroos or trying their luck spotting a Tasmanian Devil, they can on a cruise in Australia. There are numerous itineraries, ships to suit families and couples, and more vessels heading Down Under all the time, with Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady the next to make its debut there starting December 2023.

Valiant Lady. Image courtesy of Virgin Voyages.

American-style cruising

Who? Celebrity Cruises
Where? Australia
When? November 3, 2022
How long? 11 nights
How much? From £2,089pp

Rainforest, koala bears and diving the Great Barrier Reef await on this cruise along Australia’s east coast. The voyage, on the 2,852-passenger Celebrity Eclipse, sails round-trip from Sydney and includes calls into Port Douglas, Yorkey’s Knob (for Cairns) and Airlie Beach for swimming and snorkelling, as well as a city day in Brisbane. Price includes drinks, Wi-Fi and tips.

British-style cruising

Who? Cunard
Where? Australia
When? December 2, 2022
How long? 11 nights
How much? From £1,469pp

Cunard’s 2,081-passenger Queen Elizabeth is kicking off a summer season Down Under with this cruise exploring the country’s south coast. The voyage is from Freemantle (for Perth) to Sydney and ticks off the cities of Adelaide and Melbourne for wine, steam trains and top-notch dining. Calls into Esperance, Kangaroo Island and Burnie in Tasmania round off the itinerary.

Small ships

Clients who fancy exploring Australia on a small ship can take their pick from luxury and premium vessels operated by the likes of Silversea, Azamara and Oceania Cruises, or tap into their adventurous spirit with an expedition-style voyage to the Kimberley or around Tasmania. Coral Expeditions is the leader in that field with voyages also exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and Western Australia, but APT and Ponant are other names to consider.

Christmas cruise in Australia

Who? Azamara
Where? Australia
When? December 21, 2022
How long? 14 nights
How much? From £3,290pp

Wine, penguins, kangaroos and fireworks are among highlights on this festive cruise from Fremantle to Melbourne on the 704-passenger Azamara Quest. It spends Christmas Day at sea, three days in Sydney for the New Year celebrations and includes calls into Adelaide, Albany and Eden. Price includes selected drinks, tips, Wi-Fi and a complimentary AzAmazing Evening.

Cruise Australia’s wild west

Who? Coral Expeditions
Where? Australia
When? November 30, 2022
How long? 12 nights
How much? From Aus$9,570pp (£5,412pp)

Western Australia’s wild coast comes under the microscope on this cruise from Fremantle to Broome on the 120-passenger Coral Geographer. This is a real journey into the unknown, with calls into the Abrolhos, Muiron and Serrurier Islands, and Shark Bay to learn about wildlife, birds and shipwrecks, and dive to colourful reefs. Price includes excursions, drinks with meals and tips.

New Zealand cruises

Some 946 days will have passed between the last cruise ship visiting New Zealand in 2020 and the first back later this year. No wonder the industry is both excited and relieved. Most voyages start and end in Australia, include a couple of days at sea between the two countries and either call into a few ports in each or focus on New Zealand. There is lots of choice and as this is a big-ticket holiday agents must take time to match their clients’ requirements.

American-style cruising

Who? Princess Cruises
Where? Australia/New Zealand
When? January 3, 2023
How long? 13 days
How much? From £1,635pp

This is a typical Australia/New Zealand cruise, starting and ending in Sydney and including plenty of time to get to know New Zealand, with calls including Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and the Bay of Islands, and scenic cruising in the Fiordland National Park. The voyage is on the 3,560-passenger Majestic Princess. Price is a Princess Plus fare that includes drinks, tips and Wi-Fi.

Majestic Princess in Australia. Image courtesy of Princess Cruises.

French-style cruising

Who? Ponant
Where? New Zealand
When? December 2, 2022
How long? 12 nights
How much? From £5,400pp

Ponant is one of the very few cruise lines that has exclusive New Zealand voyages. This one is from Auckland to Dunedin with Tauranga, Napier, Wellington and Picton among calls, and vineyards, fjords, hot springs, waterfalls and Maori culture among highlights. The cruise is on the 264-passenger Le Soleal. Price includes drinks and Wi-Fi.


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