The luxury cruise ships heading to Australia this summer

Luxury Travel Scenic Eclipse II
Scenic Eclipse II luxury cruise ship.

Australia and New Zealand are set for a bumper cruise season with a broad range of new ships and itineraries heading Down Under this summer

Australia is set to have a bountiful summer 23/24 cruise season, with new ships, cruise lines, and more than 1800 port calls around the country according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Seventy ships are scheduled to land on Australian shores, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. “Together these ships will spend a total of 1848 port days in Australia — 18% more than in 2019-20 — resulting in billions of dollars in passenger spending in communities around the Australian coast,” said CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz.

Australian demand for cruising — both from Australians and as a desirable destination among visitors — is seeing an uptick in the types of cruises on offer, according to CLIA.

“This year will offer more variety and choice than ever before … Australia has become one of the most vibrant cruise regions in the world, and this means more options than ever for cruise fans”, said Katz.

New luxury in southern hemisphere seas

Several newcomers will be sailing into Australian waters this summer, including Resilient Lady, from Richard Branson’s adults-only cruise line, Virgin Voyages, and Scenic Eclipse II, Scenic Cruise Lines’ ultra-luxury expedition ship.

Resilient Lady will sail from Athens to her new home port of Melbourne in November, where she will embark on two to 14-night itineraries around Australia and New Zealand, before returning to the Northern Hemisphere in late March 2024.

Scenic Eclipse II will also make her highly anticipated debut in Australia and the South Pacific in April 2024, offering the ultimate in luxury amenities and service to passengers. Scenic’s submersible, Scenic Neptune II, will venture into the Great Barrier Reef with Eclipse II, while in the Kimberley passengers will be able to explore by sea and air with two on-board helicopters taking off directly from the ship.

Luxury returns to Oceania

Other luxury ships operating in Australian seas this summer include Azamara CruisesAzamara Journey; the recently refurbished Crystal Symphony, which returns under her new operator, Abercrombie & Kent; Cunard’s three ships, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Victoria; PONANT’s luxury expedition ships, Le Lapérouse and Le Soléal, which will travel around Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific; Seven Seas Explorer from Regent will return for the second time to Australia and New Zealand in December with 12 itineraries; Seabourn’s Odyssey, which takes to Australian and NZ waters from late November; and three ships from Silversea — Silver Muse, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper — operating in Australia and New Zealand from December

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