Aus­tralians em­brace the high seas

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - LIFE - Letea Ca­van­der

AUS­TRALIANS con­tinue to lap up life on the high seas and em­brace cruis­ing hol­i­days. And Queens­land res­i­dents, in par­tic­u­lar, are hop­ping on board in ever-in­creas­ing num­bers.

Sun­shine Coast res­i­dent Sally Henebery, 59, tried her first cruise ship four years ago and has not looked back.

“You un­load once, you un­pack and ev­ery­thing is on board,” she said.

“You don’t have to un­pack or repack and drive to the next des­ti­na­tion. You just have to re­lax.”

She and her hus­band Peter, 61, have been on 10 cruises since her sis­ter-in-law in­vited them on their first short cruise, or “taster” as Mrs Henebery called it.

Her ini­tial wari­ness over sea­sick­ness soon gave way to en­thu­si­asm for cruis­ing hol­i­days.

“When you travel on a boat you’re with peo­ple so you have com­pany all the time,” Mrs Henebery said.

“You re­ally get to know peo­ple and have fun.

“When you travel by ve­hi­cle you’re not re­ally meet­ing peo­ple.”

The Heneberys name South-East Asia as their favourite des­ti­na­tion to date.

“I’d been there 45 years ago and wanted to see if it had changed,” Mrs Henebery said.

She also said the cost of cruis­ing was at­trac­tive.

“The more you cruise the cheaper the cruises are be­cause once you’ve been on one they give you more and more spe­cials,” Mrs Henebery said.

The Heneberys are not the only Aus­tralians to take to life on the high seas. A re­port re­leased ear­lier this year, in May, found one in ev­ery 19 Aus­tralians took a cruise last year.

The 2016 Aus­tralian Ocean Pas­sen­ger Cruise In­dus­try Source Mar­ket Re­port also found the most pop­u­lar cruises were itin­er­ar­ies in Aus­tralia, New Zealand and the South Pa­cific, which ac­count for 76.7% of Aus­tralian cruise pas­sen­gers.

Queens­lan­ders, in par­tic­u­lar, have fallen in love with lux­ury cruis­ing. Sun­shine State res­i­dents now ac­count for a quar­ter of all lux­ury cruise liner Aza­mara’s Aussie book­ings.

This makes the state the sec­ond-largest source mar­ket in the coun­try.

Aza­mara chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Larry Pi­mentel said des­ti­na­tion trends for the cruise liner’s Aussie trav­ellers next year still in­cluded Europe, and Ja­pan had emerged as a travel hotspot.

“I’m quite pleased to see Ja­pan book­ing very ag­gres­sively in what we call a ‘coun­try in­ten­sive’,” Mr Pi­mentel said.

“That’s a more in­ten­sive pat­tern of calls within one sin­gle coun­try. In Europe it’s Croa­tia. And re­cently one of the things we’ve seen pop is a cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion of Cuba.”

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

One in ev­ery 19 Aus­tralians took a cruise last year, and Queens­lan­ders now ac­count for a quar­ter of all lux­ury cruise liner Aza­mara’s Aussie book­ings.

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