Cruises in the South Pacific combine cosmopolitan cities with lush jungles, exotic wildlife, snow-capped mountains and fjords, plus white-sand beaches and coral reefs.
It’s no surprise that explorers, artists, writers and visitors have been coming here to cruise the south pacific since at least the 18th century, when Captain Cook and his colleagues first arrived.
Cruises in the South Pacific feature a multitude of destinations that are a study in contrasts. Each region has its own distinct cultural appeal.
A continent and a nation, Australia features the desert expanses of the Outback, where you’ll find kangaroos, koalas, wombats and the platypus. Equally stunning is the Great Barrier Reef, an underwater wonderland teeming with marine life.
Australia also boasts breathtaking cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne. Often called the most spectacular harbor in the world to enter via a cruise ship, Sydney’s famed Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge await guests on deck and evoke the spirit of “G’Day!”
Passengers on a South Pacific cruise can opt for flight-seeing excursions that afford stunning views of the Daintree Rainforest, Tasmania’s Mt. Wellington, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Southeast of Australia is New Zealand, comprised of the South Island and North Island. New Zealand boasts an abundance of natural attractions and recreational opportunities hard to rival. Only in Auckland, for example, can cruise passengers board an America’s Cup yacht to sail past the America’s Cup Village, with its super yachts. Cruise passengers also can retrace the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, visiting some of the best-known sites from the film, or cruise beautiful Milford & Dusky Sounds.
Since the first sailing ships from Europe dropped anchor among French Polynesia’s lagoons and coral atolls, the magical islands have symbolized romance and natural beauty. Vacationers on South Pacific cruises can take in volcanic peaks shrouded in wispy clouds, mysterious rainforests, white-sand beaches, a profusion of flowers, including Tahiti’s spectacular black pearls.
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An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com