Australia Cruises Aboard the MS Volendam

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 | 0 comments
Australia CruisesThe MS Volendam will set sail from Hong Kong to Auckland in late 2009, taking in Singapore, Darwin, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne and many other smaller ports. In 2010 she'll sail around Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific and even from Sydney to Vancouver. If you're looking for a cracking deal on Australia Cruises check out

The Volendam has a tasteful floral theme throughout her spacious public areas and staterooms. In addition to fresh flowers throughout the ship, there's a great collection of artwork adding to the interior of the ship -- from sculptures to Renaissance-era Italian fountains. And an elegant kaleidoscope-inspired sculpture by Luciano Vistosi greets visitors in the three-story atrium.

Some facts about the Volendam:
  • Passenger capacity: 1,432
  • Crew members: 615
  • Gross Tonnage: 61,214 grt.
  • Length: 781 feet
  • Beam: 105.8 feet
  • Maximum speed: 23 knots
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Video: Amateur Traveler takes a tour of the Volendam -- funniest line 'I would advise that in high seas you use one of the bikes and don't try the treadmills...'

Australia Cruises to Christmas Island

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Australia  CruisesGreat news for Christmas -- the Australian Federal Government recently announced it would invest $3.5 million to improve mooring facilities on Christmas Island – and the first ever cruise ship visit to the island will happen at the end of this year.

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Sun makes regular runs to Noumea and Fiji, and it will call at Christmas Island on December 23 -- that's right, just in time for Christmas. It will be the first of four visits by Pacific Sun between December this year and February 2011

For more on this story check out

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Video: Pacific Sun sails away

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Great Savings on New Zealand Cruises

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New Zealand Cruises
Diamond Princess is a regular visitor to Australia and New Zealand -- as are the Dawn Princess and Sun Princess (pictured. And now that those latter two ships are permanently based in Australia, they have made some changes to better serve Australian and New Zealand travellers. The onboard currency is Australian Dollars, the wine list is made up of NZ and Australian wines, the shows have a down under vibe going on, and there are increased numbers of NZ and Australian crew onboard. The Pacific Sun makes regular runs to Noumea and Fiji.

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Some of the best sales at the moment include:
  • 28 nights on the Dawn Princess circumnavigating Australia, departing 18/11/09 (up to 53% off cabins)
  • Bounty Discovery - departs Auckland 24/03/2010 for 10 nights aboard the Pacific Sun, taking in Norfolk Island, Noumea, Ouvea, Vila and Mystery island (up to 53% off cabins)
  • Hawaiian Discovery -- 35 nights aboard the Dawn Princess, departing 03/04/2010 from Sydney and taking in Tonga, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Samoa and Fiji (up to 74% off cabins)
Video: Some great footage in this promo from Princess Cruises about Australia - New Zealand cruises. If you're from NZ or the Lucky Country you'll find the place name pronunciation hilarious!

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Queens Wharf Development to Keep Pace with New Zealand Cruises

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New Zealand CruisesAuckland's Queens Wharf was recently bought by the Auckland Regional Council and the NZ Government with a view to developing it into a public space and cruise ship terminal. It's also going to be a venue for events like Rally New Zealand in May 2010, and then for the main event -- the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

If you're looking for cheap deals on New Zealand cruises head to Pictured is the Diamond Princess -- one of the largest cruise ships in the world and a regular visitor to the Port of Auckland. The 290 metre-long ship is only 38 metres shorter than Auckland’s Sky Tower. Her next departure from Auckland is 22/12/2009 for a 13-night Australia & New Zealand cruise -- and right now at you can save up to 27% off cabins.

The main objectives for Queens Wharf include developing it as an enjoyable open space for Aucklanders, as well as providing a new main terminal to cope with the projected growth of the cruise ship industry. Hundreds of Aucklanders took the opportunity to visit Queens Wharf at the public access day on 13 September 2009 and a competition is on to find the best development idea. Journalist Bernard Orsman wrote in the NZ Herald :

"Flashes of Sydney, London and volcanic Auckland are among the creative ideas to redevelop Queens Wharf for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

There's a giant ferris wheel to rival the London Eye, a row of giant sails resembling the Sydney Opera House, a series of volcanic cones or mountain peaks and a taniwha rising out of the Waitemata Harbour.

The first stage of a design competition has attracted 232 entries from children to acclaimed architects. Later this month the entries will be whittled down to five designs and three team entries to find an overall winner.

Entrants had to include a cruise ship terminal, open space and ideas for the cup. Apartments, hotels, offices and large-scale retail facilities were banned." Source

Video: Diamond Princess in Sydney Harbour

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Dawn Princess Visits Anzac Cove

Posted on Saturday, September 12, 2009 | 0 comments
cheap cruisesPrincess Cruises' Dawn Princess has completed its maiden visit to Turkey's Anzac Cove, with hundreds of Australian and New Zealand passengers taking part in an emotional memorial service as the ship sailed through the historic waters.

Check out the story here at Clems World Cruise blog, which also has photos of the ceremony on the top decks. And if you're looking for cruises Australia check out the great deals at

The visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula was a highlight of Dawn Princess' inaugural world cruise, which left Sydney in early July. It's also the first visit to Anzac Cove by an Australian-based cruise ship. Dawn Princess Captain Goodway held a ceremony on the ship's top decks in memory of the thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who died at Anzac Cove.

The passengers who attended the ceremony included World War I veterans and descendants of soldiers who fought at Gallipoli. Dawn Princess will return to Anzac Cove again next year during her 2010 world cruise.

Video: Dawn Princess in Sydney

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Dunedin Cruise Visitor Numbers Hold Steady Despite Recession

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cruise deals NZThere may have been a recession on, but the high number of cruise ships visits to Dunedin, New Zealand, is holding steady, according to the Otago Daily Times. Dunedin's tourism chief is pretty happy with the number of visits to the port.

The story points to the cancellation of cruises earlier this year by Celebrity Cruises including 11 visits to Dunedin by the 2000-passenger vessel Millennium. But even with that cruise line out of the picture, visits have held at 53 so far.

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The Otago Daily Times story (read it here) also quotes Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton -- "I think things are looking better than people were potentially expecting" -- and he adds that the number of cruise-ship visits may be down compared with last season, but the size and passenger capacity of the vessels was increasing.
"Last season, Dunedin, with 88,380 cruise ship visitors, was the second most visited port after Auckland (112,870), but ahead of Tauranga (88,109) and Christchurch (87,853)."

"The most frequent visitor is Dawn Princess (seven visits), followed by the Rhapsody of the Seas, Dawn Princess, and Sun Princess - all with six visits."
Bookings for the 2010-11 season are looking robust, with 58 visits. The 2009-10 season begins with the arrival of the Star Princess on October 20 and ends with the departure of the Crystal Symphony on April 5.

Video: Star Princess

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