Sydney was founded primarily due to its deep glacier-formed harbour. Slow movement of massive ice shelves carved deeply into the landscape creating the sheltered harbour we see today. The harbour remains a marine paradise and playground for people from all walks of life, with visitor numbers increasingly yearly. The call of the vast Pacific Ocean is an alluring temptation many find hard to resist, and it’s not unusual to see huge cruise ships arriving and departing during voyages around Australia and the Pacific.
Seasoned cruisers fully comprehend the opportunity on our doorstep. The popularity of cruising around Australia and beyond has resulted in Australians becoming the keenest cruise enthusiasts world-wide. Approximately 4% of all Australians take an ocean or river cruise annually – a figure not so surprising when we consider that most of us live close to the coast.
First time cruisers are often reluctant to embark on a long voyage. Some people are unsure if cruising is their thing, and there are the usual concerns about sea-sickness, privacy, or shyness in mingling with strangers. Cruise ship companies help to allay any concerns by offering short 3 day cruises from Sydney as a cruise taste-test for first-timers. Shorter cruises are also becoming increasingly popular for celebrations, company or team getaways and romantic couples. Here are some examples of the many short cruises from Sydney in 2016.
Cruise Sampler: 3 nights on P&O Pacific Aria, Saturday 23 April
Pacific Aria underwent extensive renovations prior to joining the P&O Australia fleet. Aria is a modest sized ship by today’s standards, but was built to cruise the vast ocean in style. Pacific Aria hosts 1,500 passengers, 560 crew, and 10 decks for accommodation and entertainment. The 3 night cruise sampler is a great opportunity to find your sea legs and experience all that is good about cruising.
All the traditional cruise ship features have been upgraded on Pacific Aria. Onboard food culture has evolved into a relaxed style where dining options abound day and night. Whether you want a set meal or a quick snack, Aria is ready to serve. The pool areas have also been upgraded, and the adults-only retreat is a nice hideaway for extra privacy. Cabin options abound, most with a balcony, and night-life is abundant. The only difficulty onboard Pacific Aria is experiencing everything in only three nights.
2 nights on Sea Princess, Sunday 15 May 2016
Many passengers prefer to arrive at an itinerary destination no matter how short the cruise is. Although a cruising loop in the Pacific Ocean is a great first time experience, a one-way voyage to Melbourne could be a tantalising alternative. This cruise is for only 2 nights, and with airfares between Melbourne and Sydney at all-time lows, a return journey is still a cost effective getaway choice.
Princess Cruises Sea Princess has undergone a series of refurbishments during the past few years. The latest upgrades carried out in Singapore during 2015 have refreshed Sea Princess in readiness for the current sailing season. Sea Princess can host almost 2,000 passengers on a vessel that avoids the floating theme park style of many newer ships. From the extensive atrium to comfortable cabins, all areas of Sea Princess are tastefully decorated.
Modern cruise ships exhibit the latest innovations for stability and sturdiness to cut through the waves without unnecessary rolling of the vessel. Dining options abound, from the main restaurants offering pre-arranged seating, to casual buffet or speciality restaurant offerings. Entertainments abound, including full stage productions in the 600 seat theatre, a plethora of bars, the casino, plus the opportunity to dance the night away at a nightclub. Your accommodation will float but time will fly on a 2 night Sydney to Melbourne cruise on Sea Princess.
Cruise Sampler: 3 nights on Carnival Spirit, 11 August 2016
Cruise ships don’t make money while sitting in the dock, and 3 night sample cruises are a great way to fill the breach. Carnival Cruises are another prestigious company plying the waters off the coast of Sydney and beyond while introducing newcomers to the thrill of cruising. Carnival Spirit has a guest capacity of 2,650 housed on 12 decks. This medium sized ship hosts 4 swimming pools, 16 bars, plus huge entertainment attractions. Carnival by name, carnival by nature.
The latest incarnation of Carnival Spirit includes the Green Thunder water-slide and aqua park. Couples may prefer to slip away to the Serenity adults-only retreat. Cruise ships compete to attract passengers from all walks of life, and Carnival Spirit leans toward those with an adventurous and fun-loving spirit. The ship has been designed to satisfy whimsy and fantasy, while still providing all that is robust and safe about cruising.
Daytime, night time, anytime fun is the call, and fitting all the activities in over 3 nights remains the greatest challenge.
All-year Australian cruising
3 night cruises from Sydney have provided a sailing window of opportunity during every season. For fun in the sun, a conference with a difference, extended family gatherings or even an entire wedding party – a 3 night cruise could be just the ticket.
Add another night to your cruise and you have the opportunity to visit iconic coastal destinations such as Moreton Island or Mooloolaba. Both Melbourne and Brisbane are reached within 2 nights cruising, opening up another opportunity for hitting the high seas.
Short cruises from Sydney are now on offer. Cruising used to seem just a dream to most people. The good news is that in 2016 the cruising dream is waiting for you to turn it into reality.