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Embark on an unforgettable world cruise to Australia and discover a paradise of natural beauty and wildlife wonders . Witness the breathtaking landscapes and ancient rainforests when you cruise Australia's stunning coastline. From snorkelling in Bondi's turquoise waters to the sprawling deserts of the Outback, a cruise to Australia from the UK promises unforgettable moments and exhilarating experiences.
VIBRANT TROPICAL CITIES
Australia will astound you with its coral reefs, deserts, mountains, forests, and lively cosmopolitan cities. A port call at the Sydney cruise terminal offers an opportunity to view the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Melbourne is known for its arts, culture, and culinary scene, while Cairns is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Newcastle, such as Nobbys Beach and Merewether Beach, renowned for their surfing and relaxing atmosphere.[ReadMoreDesk][ReadMoreMob]
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Australia's laid-back pace is infectious, and you'll soon find yourself easing into their relaxed approach to life. Savour a range of culinary delights, from fresh seafood to fusion cuisine dishes. Visit local food markets, vineyards, and breweries, experiencing the country's diverse food and beverage scene.
Ancient traditions blend with modern influences, creating a tapestry of captivating heritage. Connect with the diverse traditions that shaped the nation through centres like the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne or Sydney's historic The Rocks neighbourhood, where colonial history comes alive through heritage sites, museums, and walking tours.
Treat yourself to a captivating journey around Australasia on an awe-inspiring cruise to Australia and New Zealand , where you'll witness breathtaking landscapes and encounter extraordinary wildlife. Explore the ancient Daintree Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its diverse flora and fauna, spot playful dolphins, and marvel at adorable koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitats.
Cruises to Australia
Exploring Australia & the Far East • S2405
- Discover diverse Australian cities and Asian destinations
- See Sydney’s world-famous attractions; and go in search of natural wonders
- Visit tribal Papua New Guinea; explore Bali, Phuket and Komodo Island
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Australia, Far East & the Mediterranean • S240506
- Experience an adventure of natural wonders and enriching cultures
- See Sydney’s iconic attractions and discover the contrasts of Asia
- Visit the ‘Lost City’ of Petra and sail Egypt’s Suez Canal
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A Voyage of Exploration Around the World - Liverpool • T250106
- See the mysterious Maoi statues on Easter Island
- Learn about the inspirational life of Nelson Mandela
- See the iconic Sydney skyline as you sail into the city
A Voyage of Exploration Around the World • T2502
- Explore the untouched landscapes of Robinson Crusoe Island
- See the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
- Go in search of the Big Five in Africa
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Australia and New Zealand Cruises from the UK
See the highlights of Australia and New Zealand on a cruise from the UK. Discover incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, natural wonders and fascinating cities during an exciting holiday of a lifetime down under. Cruises often call at the paradise islands of the South Pacific and Caribbean en route to Australia and New Zealand, and can include a transit of the famous Panama Canal, a feat of engineering.
Australia & New Zealand Cruises
About australia & new zealand cruises, southampton to auckland.
- Interior from £4,927pp
- Exterior from £5,654pp
- Balcony from £6,983pp
- Suite from £13,337pp
Southampton, Funchal, Madeira, Bridgetown, Curaçao, Cabo San Lucas, San Francisco, California, Hilo, Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, Apia, Nuku'alofa, Tauranga, Auckland
Southampton to Sydney
- Interior from £4,995pp
- Exterior from £5,848pp
- Balcony from £7,206pp
Southampton, Funchal, Madeira, Bridgetown, Curaçao, Cabo San Lucas, San Francisco, California, Hilo, Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, Apia, Nuku'alofa, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, New South Wales
Southampton to Brisbane
- Interior from £5,509pp
- Exterior from £6,333pp
- Balcony from £8,535pp
- Suite from £12,929pp
Southampton, Funchal, Madeira, Bridgetown, Curaçao, Cabo San Lucas, San Francisco, California, Hilo, Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, Apia, Nuku'alofa, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, New South Wales, Brisbane, Queensland
Cruises from the UK to New Zealand often call at North Island. Picturesque Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty was discovered by the Maori in the 13th-century. Tauranga translates as ‘the place of rest of anchorage’. It has grown over the years, with the Strand Waterfront a popular attraction due to its lively cafes, pubs and restaurants. Another popular port of call on the North Island is Auckland, overlooked by the iconic Sky Tower. It offers outstanding food, wine and shopping, as well as countless opportunities to embrace nature. In the west is dense rainforest, to the east are golden beaches, and the north is where you’ll find the rolling hills of wine country.
One of Australia’s highlights, and indeed a highlight of an Australia cruise from the UK is Sydney, capital of New South Wales. It is best known for Opera House, a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture, but there is so much more to the city. Discover stunning Bondi Beach or enjoy the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge. Melbourne and Adelaide also have a lot to offer. Melbourne’s mix of world-class dining, art galleries and shopping make it an exciting city to explore, while Adelaide is home to renowned museums including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum.
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Australia & New Zealand Cruises
Explore the wonders down under on a cruise to new zealand and australia, why cruise to australia & new zealand.
Epic landscapes, ancient cultures and laid-back charm – experience it all on board an Australia & New Zealand / Aotearoa cruise with Princess the #1 cruise line in Australia. We’ll take you to golden beaches, rugged outback, world-class cities and beyond. And on board, delight in local food and entertainment as our Across the Ditch immersive program brings the very best of New Zealand to you.
Your choice of Australian cruise ports is as grand as the continent itself. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Sydney Opera House. Trek through one of the world’s last temperate rainforests in Tasmania, sample award-winning wine in Margaret River and snorkel in the crystalline waters of the Great Barrier Reef or ride camelback on a beach in Broome .
New Zealand Cruises
Marvel at the spectacular scenery of Fiordland National Park / Piopiotahi , voted one of the 7 Cruise World Wonders by Condé Nast Traveler . Immerse yourself in Māori culture, see glowworms twinkle in underground caves outside Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau , stroll the famed Art Deco city of Napier / Ahuriri, and peek into moviemaking magic with The Lord of the Rings tour in Wellington .
The wonders of Australia and New Zealand are like no other! From iconic cruises from Sydney to the coastal beauty of Brisbane / Meeanjin , the rich culture of Melbourne , the famed wine country of Perth (Fremantle) / Boorloo (Walyalup) and Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau , the land of the Māori, more departures to and from Adelaide / Tarndanya than ever before – each city possesses a vibrant spirit and a unique personality worth discovering.
2025 - 2026 Australia and New Zealand New Cruise Itineraries. Learn more
Soak in Local Flavors and Revel in Rich Traditions
Food & beverage on australia & new zealand / aotearoa cruises.
- Enjoy delicious new culinary experiences that highlight the region created exclusively for Princess.
- Our beverage menus include popular regional beer, wine and whisky selections for a taste of local flavors.
Activities on Australia & New Zealand / Aotearoa cruises
Day or night, you'll discover unique experiences that give you a new perspective on the region.
- Watch feature films with a local twist – such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano – on deck at our Movies Under the Stars® outdoor theater.
- Join the performers as you learn the legend of the haka, an ancient Māori war dance.
Photo: Experience Māori culture on board with our Matariki Festival
Discover More Ashore on a Princess ® Cruise to Australia & New Zealand / Aotearoa
Australia & new zealand / aotearoa cruise shore excursions.
Princess Cruises offers a vast array of award-winning excursions, including several Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ Recommended and Exclusive tours that provide unique experiences you’ll never forget, such as snorkeling in the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef or bushwalking in the Blue Mountains.
Photo: The technicolor beauty of the Great Barrier Reef
Australia Cruisetour Vacations
For the ultimate adventure, choose an in-depth Princess Cruisetour Vacation that combines your cruise with a multiple-night land tour. Venture into Australia’s rugged outback for a look at fabled Uluru (Ayers Rock), and later dive into the brilliant underwater colors of the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo: The beauty of Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Australia & New Zealand Cruise Articles
Read about exotic isles, legendary destinations, and prepare to explore a region unlike any other on your Australia and New Zealand cruise.
Visit iconic landmarks in Australia, strikingly diverse landscapes in New Zealand, and the palm-fringed islands of the South Pacific.
Things to Do in Brisbane Cruise Port for Couples, Singles & Families
Find things to do in Brisbane, Australia, while you're in port.
5 Things to Bring Back from Your Australia Cruise
Wondering what to bring back from your Australia cruise?
Tauranga Shore Excursions: Maori Culture and History Comes Alive
Explore foreign lands when you embark on a Tauranga shore excursions.
10 Melbourne Travel Tips to Help Cruisers Fit in with Locals
These 10 Melbourne travel tips from Princess Cruises will help you experience the best of this iconic Australian city as only a local would.
Fiordland National Park Excursions: Experience the Majesty of New Zealand
Witness the majestic beauty of New Zealand on Fiordland National Park cruise excursions.
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Remove the hassle from air travel and give yourself the gift of flexibility, time and a thicker wallet with Princess EZair flights. We negotiate lower rates with the airlines, allow you to modify your flight up to 45 days prior with no penalty and protect you if your flight is late or canceled.
EZair flight quotes are available on our cruise search result details pages.
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Let Princess pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your ship or hotel when you arrive, even if you didn't book your airfare through us. A uniformed Princess representative meets you at the airport after you've retrieved your luggage and transports you directly to your ship or hotel without you having to worry about the logistics of navigating a new city.
Cruise Plus Hotel Packages
Stay longer and relax
Extend your cruise vacation, and simplify your travel plans with a hotel stay at the beginning or end of your cruise. With a Cruise Plus Hotel Package, a Princess representative meets you at the airport and pier, transporting you to and from your hotel. The package includes the cost of your hotel stay, transportation, luggage handling and the services of the representative.
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WONDERS DOWN UNDER
From urban verve to outback wilderness, Australia is a year-round sunny paradise.
A large island nation, Australia delivers the best of both the city and the country, the beach and the bush. The locals here are a laidback and friendly bunch, with a dry sense of humor and their own slang language. Explore cosmopolitan Sydney, home to Bondi Beach's turquoise waters and the architecturally unique Sydney Opera House. Cruise to Australia and visit Queensland to experience the Whitsunday Islands, where you can snorkel to see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living organism. For an authentic Australian adventure, head to the outback: Check out Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with its red dome known as Ayers Rock.
From The Bush To The Beach
From urban verve to outback wilderness, Australia is a year-round sunny paradise
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Join the throngs of sun-kissed Australian surfers and catch some of the world's best waves on Australia's beaches.
SWOON OVER SYDNEY
Visit Australia and tour Sydney's urban attractions like the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo. For outdoor fun, nap on the white sands of Bondi Beach or scale the magnificent rock formations of the Blue Mountains.
Melbourne is a hipster haven and Australia's culture, coffee and sports capital. Grab a flat black (the Australian version of an Americano, with espresso and hot water) at Patricia on Little Bourke Street, then rent a car and start off on the Great Ocean Road, which will take you along sweeping views of Australia's southern coast.
HEAD TO THE OUTBACK
In the remote Northern Territory, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: See the famous dome-shaped red rock rising out of the Central Australian Desert. Or check out Kakadu National Park, where you can see ancient rock art at Nourlangie or hike to the hidden waterfalls at Motor Car, Twin or Jim Jim Falls.
TOWN AND COUNTRY
Get to know the different sides of Australia, from vibrant, modern cities to wild, untamed wilderness.
KING AMONG REEFS
Snorkel, dive and swim along the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef — you can even charter a glass-bottomed boat to stay dry while seeing the only living organism visible from outer space. The reef is accessible from places like Cairns, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Port Douglas in Queensland.
In Queensland, take a day trip to the surrounding tropical islands: Check out Fitzroy Island and its National Park, where you can laze on the white sands of the coral beach or go bird-watching for for emerald doves and white-bellied sea eagles. See the colored sands at postcard-perfect Fraser Island, or explore the wild island state of Tasmania during your vacation.
PICK A BEACH
Explore Western Australia's Cape Le Grand National Park, which offers stunning coastline set against rolling heathlands filled with kangaroos. Check out Queensland's Gold Coast, where you'll find local favorite Nobby Beach (known colloquially as "Nobby's"). Or get lost in Tasmania's Freycinet National Park, where pink granite cliffs overlook white-sand beaches and clear blue waves.
EXPEDITIONS DOWN UNDER SAY "G'DAY" TO AN OUTBACK ADVENTURE
Choose your Australian vacation adventure: Relax on a tropical island or one of thousands of beaches, hike in a remote national park or venture into the vibrant city.
A sampler cruise from Sydney is a great way to experience both Australia's biggest city and an exciting cruise.
BE TANTALIZED BY TASMANIA
Tasmania is an underrated Australian state that's home to Cradle Mountain, the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site and the eccentric Museum of Old and New Art among other things to do.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Arriving in Australia
The best time to visit Australia depends on where you want to go. The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and the Northern Territory are best explored during dry season (May to September), while summer is the optimal time to visit southern states like Victoria and Tasmania.
Weather-wise, northern Australia enjoys an endless summer, but it does get cold in Victoria and Tasmania during winter. Meanwhile, Melbourne is known for displaying four seasons in one day, so always have a jacket and umbrella on hand, just in case.
Great Barrier Reef Vacation Ideas
October 11, 2023
Discover the best water sports to try while on a Great Barrier Reef vacation and start planning your thrilling Australian adventure.
10 Best Things To Do in Australia
September 29, 2023
From Melbourne to Sydney to iconic animal experiences and world-class wine regions, here are the 10 best things to do in Australia.
A Guide to Australian Beaches
August 1, 2023
Discover the best Australian beaches for families, wildlife spotting, lounging, learning how to surf and diving into authentic beach culture.
10 Australian Vacation Experiences
December 15, 2022
Make your Australian vacation a sensation with these travel temptations! Discover the top 10 remarkable things to do when visiting Australia.
Visit Australia for Kite Flying Vacation
December 14, 2022
Plan a trip for visiting Australia for a sky-high kite flying adventure. Make your Australian vacation a sensation with these travel temptations!
In northern Australia, be aware that stingers (dangerous jellyfish) swarm the seas in the summer, from approximately October to March.
Tipping is not customary in Australia.
The universal phone number for taxi services across the country is 131008.
HOW TO DINE DOWN UNDER
"Fair dinkum" — Aussie slang for "authentic" or "genuine" — Australian cuisine has been influenced by England, New Zealand and even Italy. However, there's nothing more Australian than throwing some steak and snags (sausages) on a barbie (barbecue) — no shrimps allowed.
POPULAR PUB GRUB
There are two dishes to order at an Aussie pub: a chicken parmigiana (called a parmi Down Under) or a burger, which will usually come topped with Australian specialties like beetroot or pineapple. Of course, you can always go for a classic steaks: Porterhouses are popular in Victoria, while rump steaks are particularly beloved in New South Wales.
THE REAL BISCUIT
Australia has some delicious sweet treats, but it's perhaps best-known for perfecting the biscuit. Try Anzac biscuits with oats and golden syrup, lamingtons — a sponge square covered in chocolate and coconut — and Tim Tams, the local favorite brand of chocolate-covered biscuits.
IT'S PIE TIME
Meat pies — with a flaky pastry crust baked around a savory filling of ground meat (typically beef or lamb) and spices — are a traditional Australian lunch or snack found in bakeries across the country. Another favorite is the Chiko Roll, similar to a large spring roll but filled with the signature Aussie ingredients of mutton, celery, barley, rice, carrots and spices.
The Australian coast is dotted with beautiful ports, like Esperance, to explore. In Queensland, Cairns and Airlie Beach are both gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, Darwin is a gateway to the Northern Territory's rugged natural sights, including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, and Uluru.
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Cairns (Yorkeys Knob), Australia
Perth (Fremantle), Australia
Port Douglas, Australia
Port Hedland, Australia
Sydney (White Bay), Australia
Willis Island (Cruising), Australia
Wollongong (Port Kembla), Australia
Port Arthur, Tasmania
Cruises from Australia to the United Kingdom
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Cunard Cruises to Australia
Cunard Line ships offer cruises to Australia from the UK and from the USA . Cunard ocean liners are elegant and spacious with excellent service. They attract discerning travellers with sophisticated tastes.
Cunard Line cruises include 24-hour room service, nightly turndown service, meals in the main restaurants or buffets, daytime and evening entertainment, fitness centre, programmes for children age 2-17, and enrichment programmes. Read Cunard Line cruise reviews .
55-night cruise from New York to Australia on the Queen Mary 2. One-way from New York (USA) to Sydney (Australia). Visit Southampton (England), Lisbon (Portugal), Tenerife (Canary Islands), Walvis Bay (Namibia), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Cape Town (South Africa), Durban (South Africa), Le Port (Reunion), Port Louis (Mauritius), Fremantle (Australia), Adelaide (Australia) and Melbourne (Australia). • 2024 departure: January 3.
7-night South Australia cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Melbourne (Australia) to Adelaide (Australia) and Hobart (Tasmania). • 2024 departure: January 5.
52-night cruise from England to Australia on the Queen Victoria. One-way from Southampton (England) to Sydney (Australia). Visit Hamilton (Bermuda), Port Canaveral (Florida), Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Aruba, Panama Canal, Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), San Francisco (California), Honolulu (Hawaii), Apia (Samoa), Suva (Fiji), Auckland (New Zealand), Wellington (New Zealand) and Christchurch (New Zealand). • 2024 departure: January 11.
7-night Tasmania cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Burnie (Tasmania) and Hobart (Tasmania). • 2024 departure: January 15.
10-night Queensland cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Brisbane (Australia), Airlie Beach (Australia), Cairns (Australia), Port Douglas (Australia) and Willis Island (Australia). • 2024 departure: January 22.
25-night cruise from California to Australia on the Queen Victoria. One-way from San Francisco (California) to Sydney (Australia). Visit Honolulu (Hawaii), Apia (Samoa), Suva (Fiji), Auckland (New Zealand), Wellington (New Zealand) and Christchurch (New Zealand). • 2024 departure: February 7.
7-night Tasmania cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Hobart (Tasmania), Port Arthur (Tasmania) and Melbourne (Australia). • 2024 departure: February 13.
10-night South Australia cruise on the Queen Mary 2. One-way from Fremantle (Australia) to Sydney (Australia). Visit Adelaide (Australia) and Melbourne (Australia). • 2024 departure: February 17.
5-night Tasmania cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Burnie (Tasmania) and Melbourne (Australia). • 2024 departure: March 5.
30-night Australia Circumnavigation cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Airlie Beach (Australia), Cairns (Australia), Darwin (Australia), Bali (Indonesia), Broome (Australia), Geraldton (Australia), Fremantle (Australia), Albany (Australia), Adelaide (Australia), Melbourne (Australia), Hobart (Australia) and Port Arthur (Australia). • 2024 departure: October 18.
10-night Queensland cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Brisbane (Australia), Airlie Beach (Australia), Cairns (Australia), Port Douglas (Australia) and Willis Island (Australia). • 2024 departure: November 17.
5-night Tasmania cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Hobart (Tasmania) and Great Oyster Bay (Australia). • 2024 departure: December 11.
13-night Holidays cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Round-trip from Sydney (Australia) to Dunedin (New Zealand), Wellington (New Zealand), Napier (New Zealand) and Auckland (New Zealand). The ship will be at sea on Christmas Day. It will be at Auckland overnight on New Year's Eve. • 2024 departure: December 23.
The world’s best cruises for 2024
From Australia’s Kimberley region to the rainforests of Madagascar, there are plenty of spectacular voyages on offer this year
New Year’s resolutions to embark on a new diet or make use of that expensive gym subscription are so dull it’s little wonder they fall by the wayside within weeks. But a promise to do something really different when it comes to holidaying on the high seas? Now that is a resolution worth keeping. And with so much going on in the world of cruising , this is certainly the year to do it.
There are sparkling new ocean and river ships to discover, voyages for families, sybarites and wine lovers, and adventures to exotic lands where few have ever set foot. You can go diving with sharks, celebrate Thanksgiving in the home of jazz, learn about the night sky with astronomers, and practise yoga under the Adriatic sun – there’s something for every type of cruise fanatic. And if you’re yet to catch the bug? With so much to choose from, it’s only a matter of time.
Here are the best voyages on offer in 2024.
Skip ahead to:
Africa and the Indian Ocean
North america, northern europe.
- Europe and the Mediterranean
Cruise the Kimberley
Good news for Seabourn fans who shiver at the thought of a cruise to the South Pole; its ultra-luxury expedition ship Pursuit is going in search of heat, saltwater crocodiles and ancient rock art on its debut in the Kimberley. The Waterfalls and Wandjinas adventure takes you through the remote region, which is more than three times the size of England but home to barely 40,000 people. Sailings between Broome and Darwin depart from June to August and promise to thrill with a visit to Horizontal Falls, taking in reefs that seem to rise from the ocean and optional helicopter rides over the rainforest.
Book it: Seabourn (0344 338 8615) offers the 10-night Waterfalls and Wandjinas adventure from £5,999pp.
Have a whale of a time
Small ship specialist Coral Expeditions has teamed up with the Australian Geographic Society for a Whales and Trails of Western Australia expedition, which pairs wineries, coastal walks, wildflowers and the white sands of Lucky Bay with (hopefully) sightings of migratory humpback, southern right and blue whales. Expect daily lectures on board and swim and snorkel stops in quiet bays. The cruise, from Fremantle to Esperance and back, sets sail aboard the 120-passenger Coral Adventurer.
Book it: Coral Expeditions (0061 7 4040 9999) offers the 10-night Whales and Trails of Western Australia expedition from £4,832pp; departs October 5.
Expedition to the South Pole
Adventurous souls can follow in the footsteps of Australian explorer and scientist Sir Douglas Mawson on an epic 25-day expedition Scenic voyage to the eastern side of Antarctica next winter. Travel in the lap of luxury aboard Scenic Eclipse – a discovery yacht – with no more than 200 other passengers. The cruise starts in Milford Sound, New Zealand, and ends in Hobart, Tasmania. Spend 10 days exploring the icy wastes of the White Continent that hundreds of thousands of penguins call home.
Book it: Scenic (0161 768 8129) offers the 25-day Mawson’s Antarctica: Along the East Coast from £23,700pp; departs December 15.
Cruising to Antarctica might be thrilling, but the price tag can be enough to give you the chills. Princess Cruises’ new 17-night voyages from Buenos Aires won’t break the bank but includes four days’ scenic cruising in the White Continent. True you can’t step ashore – that’s only allowed if ships have 500 passengers or less – but you’ll see loads of penguins and, with luck, whales. Once Antarctica is ticked off the list, Sapphire Princess heads to Stanley for a day in the Falkland Islands.
Book it: Princess Cruises (0344 338 8663) offers the 17-day Antarctica cruise from £1,999pp; departs December 1 and 18.
Champagne living on tap
Zip-lining, diving with great whites and kayaking await aboard Silversea’s luxury expedition ship Silver Cloud, which explores the wild side of Southern Africa on a voyage starting in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and ending 12 days later in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. There’s all-suite living and champagne on tap, while tours bypass cityscapes, instead giving passengers an active and cultural fix with trips inside caves, vigorous hikes (including up Cape Town’s Table Mountain), a night under canvas and plenty of wildlife encounters.
Book it: Silversea (0844 251 0837) offers the 12-day Walvis Bay to Port Elizabeth cruise from £9,700pp including flights; departs March 23.
Sail the eclectic Indian Ocean
If Dubai’s city of superlatives doesn’t impress, giant tortoises in the Seychelles and flying from Mombasa to Amboseli National Park for a game drive surely will. Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 16-day voyage from Dubai to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a cornucopia of contrasts, pairing Middle Eastern culture in the United Arab Emirate of Fujairah and Muscat in Oman with white-sand beaches in Zanzibar, rainforest in Antsiranana, Madagascar, and high-energy rock shows on the 2,002-passenger Norwegian Sky.
Book it: Norwegian Cruise Line (0333 241 2319) offers the 16-day Africa: Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania & Oman cruise from £3,699pp; departs December 4.
Expand your horizons
Proving education can be fun, SeaTrek Sailing Adventures has created two new family-friendly holidays that will have children, teens and parents spying dragons, swimming with whale sharks, and hunting bugs and butterflies as they sail around the islands along Indonesia’s Ring of Fire. Learn about wildlife and conservation with UK naturalists Ray and Angela Hale. The round-trip cruises from Komodo Island are aboard the Ombak Putih, a traditional Indonesian sailing ship that holds just 24 passengers.
Book it: Stubborn Mule Travel (01728 752751) offers SeaTrek’s nine-day Whale Sharks, Corals and Dragons adventure from £5,885pp including flights; departs July 30 & August 10.
Meander the Mekong
You can never have too much of a good thing. Which is why Emerald Cruises has added two days to its one-week voyages on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam this year, aboard Emerald Harmony, and renamed them Meandering Majestic Mekong. The extra time allows for new excursions that will see passengers visit incense factories, schools and temples, and ride in cyclos (think carts pulled by pedal bikes). Familiar favourites will also remain, such as sightseeing in Phnom Penh by tuk-tuk after dark, tours to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields and explorations of local markets.
Book it: Emerald Cruises (0161 768 8154) offers the 10-day Meandering Majestic Mekong cruise from £3,045pp; departs August–October.
Expect the unexpected
French cruise line Ponant sets sail on a new voyage around Japan’s west coast this year. Photographer Sue Flood, one of the team behind the BBC’s Blue Planet series, is joining passengers aboard Le Jacques-Cartier, a small ship for just 184 passengers that was built for exploring. This one-off departure starts in Kagoshima and ends in Fukuoka after a week spent discovering Japanese islands that are home to ancient cedar forests, monumental cliffs, Christian churches and towering waterfalls. It also calls into South Korea’s volcanic Jeju island.
Book it: Ponant (0207 660 4089) offers the seven-night Kyushu’s secret islands and ancestral heritage from £4,960pp; departs April 20.
Disney has a new island
Be among the first to step ashore on Lookout Cay, a new private island Disney Cruise Line is opening in the Bahamas this summer. The island newbie has beaches, water slides and three bars exclusively for adults. Disney Fantasy’s 10-night Southern Caribbean voyage also visits Antigua, St Lucia, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands. And just when you think it can’t get better, there’s also a day of splash-tastic family fun at Castaway Cay, Disney’s current long-standing private island.
Book it: Disney Cruise Line (0800 171 2317) offers the 10-night Southern Caribbean voyage from £8,851 (for two adults and one child sharing an inside cabin); departs Port Canaveral July 25.
Down Mexico way
Ever wondered what Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, the Sea of Cortez and cliff divers have in common? Carnival Cruise Line’s one-week Mexican Riviera voyages has the answer. The new Carnival Firenze launches in April under a Carnival Fun Italian Style moniker that pairs Carnival’s non-stop family entertainment, teppanyaki dining and adults-only retreat with decor that mimics Florence’s Piazza Duomo and bars serving Italian fine wines. The ship will visit Puerto Vallarta (where Burton and Taylor owned a house), Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas this summer.
Book it: Carnival Cruise Line (0808 234 0680) offers the seven-day Mexican Riviera from £500pp; departs August–November.
Give thanks on the Mississippi
Elvis, the American Civil War and soul food are the ultimate combination on American Cruise Lines’ river boat American Symphony as it navigates the mighty Mississippi from New Orleans to Memphis this year. There are plenty of departures to choose from, but opt for the November 26 date through Fred Holidays and you’ll enjoy the first three nights in the Big Easy to coincide with the annual Thanksgiving Parade. This is when the French Quarter comes alive with colour, floats parade through the streets and the music of marching bands fills the air. A final night in Memphis also offers time to get down with the blues on Beale Street.
Book it: Fred Holidays (0800 021 3172) offers 11 nights departing from the UK on November 2626 from £6,595pp including flights and cruise.
Celebrate the best of British
The Queen Anne – Cunard’s first new cruise ship in 12 years – is set to launch this year. Join the circumnavigation of the UK in May and you’ll experience the vessel’s first-ever British Isles voyage. Celebrating the best of Britain and Ireland, there’ll be talks about the island’s history and heritage, celebration menus, British and Irish entertainment and a day in Liverpool – Cunard’s base until 1967 – along with other port favourites including Edinburgh, Kirkwall and Belfast.
Book it: Cunard’s (0344 338 8641) 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage costs from £1,559pp; departs Southampton May 24.
Still struggling to know your Big Dipper from your Boötes? You need Havila Voyages’ new 11-night astronomy-themed cruises along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. The March 2 sailing will be joined by space scientist and former Royal Astronomical Society president John Zarnecki; the October 30 departure by Ian Ridpath, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy . Between them they will be talking about spacecraft, cosmic creatures and the stars, and spending evenings on deck searching for the aurora borealis.
Book it: Havila Voyages (03455 280026) offers 11-night astronomy adventures from £1,308pp including access to the lectures; departures February, March & October.
A journey to remember
How better to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings of June 6 2044 than on a cruise ship anchored off the Normandy beaches exactly 80 years after British, Canadian and American troops landed there to begin the long push to free Europe from Nazi occupation. Board Ambassador Cruise Line’s ship Ambition from Bristol and experience a remembrance service on board, as well as talks by former brigadier Philip Sanders. The itinerary also includes favourites such as Guernsey, Le Havre and the Isles of Scilly.
Book it: Ambassador Cruise Line (0808 102 0129) offers the six-night D-Day 80th Anniversary Voyage from £649pp.
Europe and the Mediterranean
A decadent debut.
One year on from storming onto the cruise scene with luxury new ship Explora I, Explora Journeys is doing it again. Explora II makes its debut in August with the same leafy conservatory, art-deco look and restaurant, complete with rolling menus devised by some of the world’s most celebrated chefs. Bag the maiden cruise, from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome), to visit the French and Italian Riviera favourites of Portofino and Monte Carlo. Round off a day of exploring the maze-like streets of Porto Santo Stefano, Italy, with a glass or two of chianti.
Book it: Explora Journeys (0800 031 8935) offers the eight-night Journey from Barcelona to Rome from £4,377pp; departs August 11.
Get in the Olympic spirit
Inspired by this summer’s Paris Olympics, CroisiEurope is offering four Greek cruises that visit Olympia, home of the ancient Olympic Games, where only men could compete and Greeks gathered for five days of competition and partying. Sailing from Piraeus on La Belle de l’Adriatique, a small ship for just 198 passengers, the cruises include a call into Igoumenitsa and an excursion to Meteora, where dozens of monasteries balance precipitously on rocky peaks. Round out a day in Athens with a Greek folklore evening.
Book it: CroisiEurope (01756 691269) offers the seven-night Tour of the Peloponnese and Meteora from £1,690pp; departs March 8, 15, 22 and 29.
Cycle the Saône
Who said that river cruising had to be slow-paced? Join AmaWaterways’ new seven-night Flavours of Burgundy cruise on the Saône between Dijon and Lyon and take advantage of the guided bike rides on offer – taking active sorts up to 30km along the river banks. If that sounds too much like hard work, there are also walking and wine-tasting tours, as well as Lyonnaise specialities to savour on a foodie excursion to famed Les Halles market in Lyon.
Book it: AmaWaterways (0800 520 2250; amawaterways.co.uk ) offers the seven-night Flavours of Burgundy aboard the AmaCello from £3,551pp; 12 departures between May 2 and September 26.
Channel your inner warrior
Not content with its three new wine-themed cruises in 2024, Sail Croatia has added three sailings for those who fancy practising their warrior poses while taking in views of the Dalmatian Coast. Sailings are all from Split to Dubrovnik aboard the 38-passenger yacht cruiser Almissa. Activities include sunrise and sunset yoga sessions on the sundeck hosted by a certified instructor, as well as yoga in a vineyard in Hvar before a wine-tasting and traditional Croatian dinner.
Book it: Sail Croatia (020 4525 7534) offers its seven-night Yoga Cruise from £1,329pp; departs April 13, September 7 & October 5 .
Launch into autumn
Castles, abbeys, cathedrals and vineyards are among the enticing sights on display as Viva Cruises’ new river ship Viva Enjoy sets sail on a 12-night maiden voyage from Frankfurt to Vienna this autumn. Sail over the Franconian Alps by way of 16 locks on the Main-Danube Canal, cruise the Main and Danube rivers, taste smoked beer in Bamberg and have a day in Nuremberg, where an excellent Documentation Centre charts the rise of Hitler and life under the Nazis.
Book it: Viva Cruises (0330 818 7271) offers the 12-night Maiden Voyage Viva Enjoy from £3,995pp; departs September 29.
*All cruise prices exclude flights unless otherwise stated.
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‘There’s Another Level’: Top Gun: Maverick Director Reveals The Special Pastries He’s Received From Tom Cruise That Actually Top The Actor’s Famous Christmas Cake
Tom Cruise is a man who appreciates fine baked goods.
It seems being both a friend and collaborator of Tom Cruise has its share of benefits. You not only get to bear witness to some of the spectacular feats he performs on film sets but, if you’re really close to the man, you can even lightly “make fun of him,” like Simon Pegg does. In addition to those benefits though, there’s also Cruise’s famous Christmas cake, which he sends out to those closest to him every year over the holidays. The seasonal treat is practically a legend unto itself at this point, and there are plenty of fans who’d love to try it for themselves. Now, Top Gun: Maverick ’s director has added to the lore, as he’s revealed he’s received some pastries from Cruise that top the cake.
Based on what’s been said, the cake itself is a coconut-flavored confection that’s simply delicious. I’m sure anyone would be hyped to receive such a treat from the Mission: Impossible alum. Though I’d say that the baked goods Top Gun : Maverick ’s Joseph Kosinski has received from the A-lister are even sweeter (both figuratively and literally). The filmmaker revealed that “there’s another level of Cruise cake.” This past holiday, Kosinski received a very festive desert, and he chalks that up to the fact that he has children:
There’s another level of Cruise Cake, which I don’t know if it’s out there. If you have kids, I have three kids, you get the Cruise gingerbread house, which is spectacular, with the kids names and the figures and stuff. So that’s next-level Cruise cake.
I didn’t partake in too many gingerbread houses when I was a kid, if I’m being totally honest. But what the Oblivion director described to Josh Horowitz of the Happy Sad Confused podcast sounds truly impressive. I mean, imagine being a kid and seeing yourself recreated as a figure for such a treat. (Also, I wonder if the figures themselves are edible?) As cool as that culinary creation sounds, it’s actually not even the most impressive baked good the filmmaker has ever received from his frequent collaborator. He was gifted something even cooler when his latest birthday arrived:
I’ve gotten cakes from him that almost seem [like he made them himself]. On my birthday this year, I got an F-18 as a cake, with me flying it – literally, my face photo-real on a cake. I don’t know how or where he got it made. It was spectacular. So yeah, there’s multiple levels to the Cruise cake experience.
Josh Horowitz went on to ask Joseph Kosinski what many of us are probably wondering at this point – how in the heck do you get yourself on Tom Cruise’s list? Kosinski explained that he doesn’t think there’s any “secret” or “formula” to getting added to the list. He says that at some point, the cake just shows up, and that surprise actually makes it all the more special.
Top Gun: Maverick: 6 Big Ways Tom Cruise’s Sequel Improves The Original Film
Over the years, many have raved about the iconic cake and what it’s like to get one. Amid the 2022 holiday season fellow Top Gun: Maverick alum Glen Powell gushed about being on the list . The Hangman actor even admitted to having a “Cruise Cake Party,” where he’ll invite friends and family over to try a piece or two. M:I alum Hayley Atwell received the Christmas gift , and she was quite taken with it. That was evidenced by the fact that she revealed the wrapping paper in a social media post.
Unfortunately, very few of us will know what it’s like to indulge in the savory-sounding cake that Tom Cruise sends out to his friends every year. For now, we’ll just have to live vicariously through those who are fortunate enough to get them. On that note, please excuse me, because I now have a serious taste for a good piece of cake.
You can check out Top Gun: Maverick (which arguably improves on the original movie) by streaming it with a Paramount+ subscription .
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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