Great Barrier Reef Cruising
Sydney, Newcastle, Cairns, & Brisbane
14 Days | March 19 - April 1, 2020
Starting At $2939
Sail Down Under on an over-the-top vacation that immerses you in cosmopolitan cities from Sydney to Auckland and natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Your stop in Cairns gives you the chance to swim, snorkel, and dive this breathtaking, natural wonder of the world. This is a region of beautiful beaches, friendly people, and exotic wildlife. And with its opposite seasons, it’s the perfect place for those from the Northern Hemisphere to escape winter. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the soaring green mountains of New Zealand – and every palm-fringed beach in between – this region offers modernity, tradition and the scenically sublime.
|Cruise Price Includes:
||Ports of Call:
Per Person Prices:
Interior: $2939 Double…..$4939 Single
Balcony: $3589 Double…..$6239 Single
Concierge Class: $3959 Double…..$6979 Single
Day 1 March 19, Sydney Australia
Considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney offers so much—from beaches and wineries to stunning landmarks and world-class shopping. Tour architectural marvels like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, view life below the surface from Sydney Aquarium’s underwater walkways, or take it all in from above on a tour of the Sydney Tower. You’re never far from nature in this thriving urban center. Well-known surf beaches, zoos, national parks, whale watching tours, bush tours, and the Royal Botanic Gardens—featuring over 7,500 plants—offer visitors a chance to enjoy the area’s sunshine, lush greenery, wildlife, and clear blue oceans. Sydney is not only Australia’s oldest city, it is also one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the globe, offering a wealth of cuisines, unique museums, and cultural opportunities. Explore lively pubs, shops, and historic buildings at The Rocks, located on Sydney harbor. Upon arrival at Sydney airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city at your own pace. Overnight at your hotel in Sydney.
Day 2 March 20, Sydney Australia
After breakfast, begin your Sydney sightseeing tour with pick up from your hotel and head straight into the heart of the city. This morning, you will visit the Rocks – Sydney’s birthplace and see fascinating relics and building of the city’s turbulent past. Pass the picturesque Botanical Gardens, the Conservatorium of Music, Art Gallery, and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, stopping for spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House. Then it’s back to the city’s commercial center, Darling Harbor and Chinatown before traveling through Kings Cross and the exclusive suburbs of Double Bay, Rose Bay, and finally Watson’s Bay for a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean from The Gap. Arrive at famous Bondi beach for a brief stop before returning to the city via Paddington to view its restored 19th Century Colonial Terraces. You will then be transferred to the pier to board the Celebrity Solstice. The ship will set sail at 6:45 p.m. (B,D)
Day 3 March 21, Newcastle Australia
Named for England’s famous coal port, Newcastle was developed in the 19th century by dangerous convicts sent to work the coal mines and timber forests. Today, a Newcastle cruise offers stunning surf, a relaxed urban atmosphere, and a gateway to Australia’s wine country. Near the port, stroll 200 years of local history, visiting Customs House, now a restaurant and bar; Watt Street, with buildings from the convict era; and Christ Church Cathedral, which still dominates the skyline. Learn about local culture at Newcastle Museum, in the central business district. Collections include Fire and Earth, about the hot and heavy industrial era; Link Gallery, which houses large exhibits like an 1870 locomotive and an 1890 pipe organ; and Newcastle Story, where you can explore Aboriginal life and the pioneering Novocastrians (Newcastle folks).
For military history—and breathtaking Pacific views—venture out to 19th-century Fort Scratchley. There you can also relax on the sunny beaches for which Newcastle is famous in surfing circles—Nobbys Beach, Bar Beach, and Merewether Beach. To meet rare local animals—koalas, wombats, diamond pythons, blue-tongued lizards, and such—head west to Blackbutt Reserve, occupying 450 acres of natural bushland, nature trails, and wildlife exhibits. Discover inland Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s pioneering wine regions. Hunter Valley sémillon is the iconic wine of the region, which also produces wines from Syrah, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon grapes. (B, L, D)
Day 4 March 22, Day at Sea
Today is a full day of luxury cruising. (B, L, D)
Day 5 March 23, Day at Sea
Today is another full day at sea. (B, L, D)
Day 6 March 24, Cairns Australia
In tropical North Queensland, surrounded on three sides by lush rainforest, your Cairns cruise makes the perfect launchpad for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef. This reef is the largest living thing on the planet—so big you can see it from space—but it’s made up of billions of tiny organisms known as coral polyps. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the reef supports a vast diversity of marine life, with 600 types of soft and hard corals, 1,625 types of fish, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers 133,000 square miles, including 3,000 coral reefs and 900 islands. The snorkeling and diving here are unmatched.
Inland, explore the rainforest by cable car and scenic railway, soaring above treetops, peering into gorges, and observing jungle waterfalls. Join a whitewater rafting adventure in Barron Gorge National Park. Stop at a rainforest village to see kangaroos, birds, butterflies, and reptiles. Hold a koala in your arms and feed a wallaby. Watch traditional Aboriginal dancers perform and artisans create their pottery, paintings, glass works, jewelry, and fabrics. You can shop for these original keepsakes to take back aboard your Cairns cruise. (B, L, D)
Day 7 March 25, Cairns Australia
Today is another day in Cairns. The ship will set sail at 4:00 p.m. (B, L, D)
Day 8 March 26, Airlie Beach, Queensland
On your cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, this is the perfect departure point for local excursions. The coral reef is the largest living thing on the planet—so big you can see it from space—but made of billions of tiny organisms known as polyps.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the reef supports a vast diversity of marine life, with 600 types of soft and hard corals, 1,625 types of fish, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers 133,000 square miles, including 3,000 coral reefs and 900 islands. The snorkeling and diving here are unmatched. Airlie Beach is popular with backpackers, yachtsmen, and other lovers of the tropical lifestyle. Sailing among the calm, protected waters of the Witsunday Islands and skydiving over the pristine shorelines are a couple of the must-do adventures for many visitors.
When it’s time for some shopping during your Airlie Beach cruise, you’ll find lovely seaside markets and galleries with friendly artists, handmade jewelry, colorful paintings, stunning photos, and tropical beachwear—perfect for a leisurely browse after breakfast. (B, L, D)
Day 9 March 27, Day at Sea
Today is a full day at sea. (B, L, D)
Day 10 March 28, Brisbane Australia
Cultural sophistication belies Brisbane’s proximity to wilderness. Contemporary art galleries energize the vibrant Fortitude Valley district, including the Gallery of Modern Art, Institute of Modern Art, Philip Bacon Galleries, Jan Murphy Gallery, and Edwina Corlette Gallery. Brisbane offers plenty of possibilities to recreate. Go for a swim at South Bank Parklands, a sparkling, man-made, inner-city beach overlooking the Brisbane River. Or, take a ride down to Gold Coat and swim, surf, or build sandcastles on one of the Pacific’s most famous beaches.
Meet Australia’s best-known natives, the koalas and kangaroos, at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, on the river. Learn all about the sleepy marsupials and other wildlife threatened by traffic, disease, and habitat loss. Cuddle a koala. Feed a kangaroo. See Tasmanian devils. North of town, you can visit the Australia Zoo to learn about Wildlife Warriors and efforts to protect injured, threatened, and endangered species. See cheetahs and rhinos roaming the zoo’s African Savannah.
You can shop for the latest designer goods on a Brisbane cruise. One chic area is Edward Street, where you’ll find Hermès, Oroton, Georg Jensen, Paspaley, Chanel, and Australia’s largest Cartier store. Move on to James Street, in Fortitude Valley, for the vibrant colors, bold designs, and bohemian fashions of Australia’s own Camilla. (B, L, D)
Day 11 March 29, Day at Sea
Today is a full day spent at sea. (B, L, D)
Day 12 March 30, Day at Sea
Today is a full day spent at sea. (B, L, D)
Day 13 March 31, Bay of Islands New Zealand
Discover indigenous New Zealand Maori culture in a land of sparkling seas and pristine beauty. Bay of Islands is a sub-tropical paradise of clear blue water, hundreds of undeveloped islands, diverse wildlife, and historical significance. The pristine oceans, warm weather, and many animal species attract nature lovers from around the globe. Take an eco-cruise and discover the area’s dolphins, penguins, marlins, whales, and bird life. Journey into a beautiful cave with majestic rock formations and glow worms. Kayak, sail, swim, or sunbathe on one of the many beaches. Those who love beaches consider these in Bay of Islands & New Zealand some of the world’s finest, with their perfect white sand and crystal-clear water. And as tempted as you’ll be to pull up a lounge chair and soak in the surroundings, many consider a Bay of Islands cruise the ideal time to partake in more active pursuits, such as kayaking, mountain-biking, parasailing, swimming with dolphins and scuba-diving. (B, L, D)
Day 14 April 1, Auckland New Zealand
This morning arrive into Auckalnd. Disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA. (B)