TO CRUISE OR NOT TO CRUISE?

If that’s the ques­tion on your lips, we’ve got the an­swers

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - COVER STORY - CHRIS­TINE RETSCHLAG

Aus­tralians live on the largest is­land in the world. We hail from a na­tion of sea­far­ing im­mi­grants from the First Fleet to the 10 Pound Poms and be­yond who set foot on a boat bound for our great south­ern land.

Flanked by wa­ter, from the Great South­ern Ocean to our south, the Pa­cific Ocean to our east, the In­dian Ocean to our west and the Tor­res Strait and Ti­mor Sea to our north, it’s lit­tle won­der Aus­tralians have a love af­fair with cruis­ing.

Are you cruise cu­ri­ous?

Here, we hoist up the sails on all of your ques­tions about cruis­ing and ask a wide range of ex­perts just why Aussies are such a cruisy bunch.

WHY ARE WE SO EN­AM­OURED WITH CRUIS­ING?

Cruis­ing of­fers un­beat­able value. What other kind of hol­i­day can you go on abroad where your ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­port, en­ter­tain­ment, meals, and in some cases, all bev­er­ages are in­cluded?

PHIL HOFF­MAN, PHIL HOFF­MAN TRAVEL

Aus­tralians love to travel far and wide, they tend to take longer hol­i­days and are one of the high­est spend per capita mar­kets.

Be­ing able to dis­cover des­ti­na­tions which are not as eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by any other means pro­vides huge ap­peal to trav­ellers.

SILVERSEA CRUISES ASIA-PA­CIFIC MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR AMBER WIL­SON

Aus­tralians by and large are a na­tion of “sea hug­gers” who live by or near the sea, take their hol­i­days at the beach and en­joy a life­style steeped in mar­itime tra­di­tion.

CAR­NI­VAL AUS­TRALIA EX­EC­U­TIVE CHAIR­MAN ANN SHERRY

WHAT HAS DRIVEN THIS?

Pos­i­tive word-of-mouth ex­pe­ri­ences. Cruis­ing is very much on trend and the value-for-money of­fered, along with the choice of cruise lines avail­able, is driv­ing the pop­u­lar­ity of cruis­ing here in Aus­tralia.

TRAVEL AGENT AND HOL­I­DAY + CRUISE CEN­TRE OWNER NI­COLE KING

More and more cruise lines have com­mit­ted to lo­cally based ships in the re­gion with de­par­tures prin­ci­pally from Syd­ney, Bris­bane and Mel­bourne.

We are now see­ing more cruise ships and lo­cal home­port sea­sons than ever be­fore.

NOR­WE­GIAN CRUISE LINE HOLD­INGS MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR ASIA PA­CIFIC STEVE ODELL

With fresh new itin­er­ar­ies be­ing in­tro­duced both do­mes­ti­cally and re­gion­ally, this has pro­vided in­creased op­tions for Aus­tralians to cruise closer to home. Cruis­ing of­fers a great value-for-money hol­i­day and col­lec­tively as a re­sult, we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a huge in­crease in clients that are in­ter­ested in cruis­ing.

TRAVELMANAGERS PER­SONAL TRAVEL MAN­AGER SARENA TAY­LOR

WHO IS MOST IN­TER­ESTED IN CRUIS­ING?

Royal at­tracts a lot of fam­i­lies and cou­ples 45-plus, and in­creas­ingly, mil­len­ni­als; Celebrity is fan­tas­tic for cou­ples look­ing for unique culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences, ro­mance and re­lax­ation; and Aza­mara tends to at­tract ad­ven­tur­ous cou­ples 45-plus, many of whom are new to cruis­ing and are look­ing for a des­ti­na­tion-rich ex­pe­ri­ence.

RCL CRUISES AUS­TRALIA AND NZ MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR ADAM ARM­STRONG

For­get the myth about cruises only be­ing for the older gen­er­a­tion.

Nearly two thirds of pas­sen­gers are aged 60 or un­der and, at 31 per cent, pas­sen­gers un­der 40 com­prise the big­gest age cat­e­gory.

CAR­NI­VAL AUS­TRALIA EX­EC­U­TIVE CHAIR­MAN ANN SHERRY

WHERE ARE THEY GO­ING?

The Mediter­ranean and Euro­pean river cruis­ing is al­ways a favourite. It’s a great way for peo­ple that have al­ready been to Europe to dis­cover it from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

PHIL HOFF­MAN, PHIL HOFF­MAN TRAVEL

The South Pa­cific re­mains Aus­tralia’s favourite cruise des­ti­na­tion, fol­lowed by Aus­tralia and then New Zea­land.

TRAVEL MAN­AGER’ PER­SONAL TRAVEL MAN­AGER SARENA TAY­LOR

New Zea­land is a hot des­ti­na­tion, par­tic­u­larly with cou­ples 45-plus, with plenty of bucket-list sights to see, such as the gor­geous Mil­ford Sound and Bay of Is­lands.

RCL CRUISES AUS­TRALIA AND NZ MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR ADAM ARM­STRONG

HOW SHOULD A FIRST-TIME CRUISER AP­PROACH SE­LECT­ING THE BEST CRUISE FOR THEM?

Speak to a cruis­ing spe­cial­ist agent. It is im­por­tant to match the right per­son to the ship. We lis­ten to our cus­tomers and ask ques­tions.

TRAVEL AGENT AND HOL­I­DAY + CRUISE CEN­TRE OWNER NI­COLE KING

WHAT OTHER KIND OF HOL­I­DAY CAN YOU GO ON ABROAD WHERE AC­COM­MO­DA­TION, TRANS­PORT, EN­TER­TAIN­MENT AND MEALS ARE IN­CLUDED?

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