Unforgettable Asia-Pacific cruise destinations

FROM the sun soaked paradise of Fiji to the snowy mountains of New Zealand or the beaches of Australia, cruises take in some of the most romantic and scenic parts of the Asia-Pacific region. And they aren’t just for retirees. Cruise ships cater for children, families, singles and pensioners with something for everyone from remote island visits to cultural experiences visiting temples or wildlife parks. Here are five destinations to consider for your next cruising holiday.

Picture: Pacific Sun

Fiji

Tropical Fiji is a favoured cruising destination thanks to its hundreds of islands and islets and wonderful, friendly culture. Ports of call for cruises usually include the capital Suva on Viti Levu. Suva is a multicultural place with numerous interfaith landmarks, excellent markets and great food. Other good cruising stops in Fiji include Dravuni island that has no vehicles, roads or stores – the perfect escape from the modern world. Port Denaru is another popular spot as it provides access to the beautiful Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos that feature all the clear water, white sand beaches and coral life you could hope for.

Pic: Blue Lagoon cruises.

New Caledonia

If you fancy a European flavour to your journey consider a trip to New Caledonia for its distinctly French overtones. Still a dependent colony of France, there’s all the baguettes, cheese and and pain au chocolat you could want on a great holiday plus all the trappings of the Pacific – the perfect combination. The capital Noumea has great shopping and dining and plenty of good beaches with marine life to keep snorkelers very happy. Cruises often stop at the Lifou coral atoll with its authentic Kanak culture and the gorgeous but rustic island of Mare with its amazing limestone cliffs.

Pic: visitnewcaledonia.com

New Zealand

Some of New Zealand’s most incredible landscapes are actually best enjoyed from the sea, which makes it a fantastic cruising option. Some destinations featured in many itineraries include the wonderful Bay of Islands on the north Island that is a mecca for water enthusiasts of all kinds, Picton’s spectacular fjords and vineyards, the dramatic wonders of Milford Sound and Dunedin’s wonderful access to the wildlife on the Otago Peninsula. Auckland, one of the world’s best harbour cities, is also commonly featured in itineraries.

Milford Sound, New Zealand. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com

Australia

Cruising options in Australia are incredibly varied given the size and scope of the coastline. There are of course the wonderful islands and waters of the Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland coast to visit. But exploration by cruise ship does not stop there. Cruises also head south to places like the wild Tasmanian coast and its penal colonies such as Port Arthur. There’s also the frontier country of Western Australia where the famed sands of Cable Beach at Broome or the Ningaloo Reef at Exmouth lie. Then of course are the cities too – Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Cairns and others.

Camel riding on cable beach, Broome. Pic: pocruises.com.au

Indonesia

The island nation of Indonesia with its 17, 508 islands is a wonderful place to cruise. From Java to Bali, Komodo and Lombok cruises offer a feast for the senses from cultural activities to temple visits, beaches, wildlife, forests and underwater adventures. You could dive on Lombok, get up close to Komodo dragons on Komodo, visit Java’s famed temples like Borobodur or even climb one of its many active volcanoes. Or simply wile away your time on any number of fantastic beaches or islands. It’s very much a case of being spoilt for choice. And because the weather is usually good here all year, there’s never a bad time to visit.

Sunset on the Maluku Islands, Indonesia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com

Companies travelling to these locations and others include:
PO Cruises – www.pocruises.com.au
Carnival – www.carnival.com.au
Princess – www.princess.com
Blue Lagoon Cruises – www.bluelagooncruises.com

Main image via Shutterstock