Travelling the world is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have - the thrill of finding yourself in places that are utterly different to those you've seen before, meeting people with unfamiliar ways and traditions, witnessing strange and beautiful landscapes... This is the joy of living at its best. Travel costs can add up however, making it difficult to experience a wide range of destinations without breaking the bank. In order to get around this conundrum, many budget conscious tourists are beginning to turn to cheap cruises as a novel travel solution.
Not only do cruises provide you with a way to a wide range of different port cities at one set price, but they also take care of your dining and accommodation along the way - not to mention the leisure and entertainment options to be found aboard. Waking up in a new city almost every day, with no need to pack your bags or spend hours cooped up in trains or planes - this the ultimate way to travel. To get an idea of the some of the places cheap cruises could take you to, take a below at what some of the most popular affordable cruise lines are offering.
Discovering the exotic islands and beautiful cultures of the South Pacific is effortless when you step aboard a Carnival cruise. Depart from Sydney to explore a number of amazing tropical locations such as:
- Mystery Island is the real life incarnation of the stereotypical 'desert island'. White sands, palm trees, coral reefs and not a single living inhabitant. This is the perfect spot to relax and unwind, soaking up rays on the pristine beach or snorkeling the island's crystal blue waters.
- Suva is not only the capital city of Fiji, it's the unofficial hub of the South Pacific. Arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the region, Suva combines a laid back "island time" vibe with urban attractions like excellent shopping and great nightlife venues. While you're in town, make sure to sample the food stall offerings - you'll find delicious dishes from all over the world, and the stalls are open very late, especially on the weekends.
- The Isle of Pines was once used as a penal colony for Parisian political prisoners and the ruins of the penitentiary are still visible today in the village of Ouro. In sharp contrast to the island's past, visitors now enjoy the freedom to explore the white sand beaches at aquamarine waters of the Isle of Pines.
Princess is well known for offering classic-style cruising to many different ports across the globe, but one of their most popular itineraries departs from Melbourne on a circuit of New Zealand, stopping in at many beautiful ports, including:
- Auckland, otherwise known as the City of Sails, has embraced its coastal location and boasts a light, breezy atmosphere tinged with sophistication. New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland offers an exciting array of sightseeing and entertainment opportunities. Whether you decide to dine in the Sky Tower's revolving restaurant, take a brisk walk to the top of Mount Eden or explore trendy harbourside precincts like Britomart and the Wynyard Quarter, your time here is sure to unforgettable.
- Fiordland National Park isn't technically a port but it's one of the most memorable highlights of Princess NZ cruises nevertheless. In stark contrast to Auckland, this is a place of natural isolation - a southern rainforest that is rich with life, but about as far away from civilisation as you can get in New Zealand. The verdant beauty of the fiords is just as stunning when the sun sparkles off the still waters as when rain turns entire cliffs into cascading waterfalls.
- Akaroa is your gateway to the city of Christchurch. The harbour itself is lovely, so take a little time to enjoy this small town before you head on to the big city. Punting down the Avon River is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon, while a visit to the International Antarctic Centre is a great choice if you've got the family along with you. Grab lunch from a quirky pop-up cafe or visit the Cardboard Cathedral to see how the residents of Christchurch have responded with innovation and positivity in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes that changed the face of the city.
P&O's extremely popular Island Hopper itinerary will introduce you to some of most well loved Pacific Island destinations in Oceania. Departing from Brisbane for 7 nights, this fun and affordable cruise gives you a tantalising taste of tropical paradise.
- Nouméa - the capital city of New Caledonia, Nouméa is like a little piece of the French Riviera in the South Pacific. A visit to the Tjibaou Cultural Center will quickly get you acquainted with indigenous art and culture, while heading along to Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie will give you a taste of just how spectacular the sea life surrounding New Caledonia can be.
- Port Vila is always a highlight for South Pacific cruisers. The capital city of Vanuatu has welcomed visitors with open arms for many years now - the town itself has a rustic charm to it, and there are plenty of adventure activities like parasailing and helicopter rides to keep you entertained if you're struggling to adapt to island time.
- Lifou is located off the coast of New Caledonia and is known for having one of the most pristine marine ecologies on earth. Head to the Jinek Bay Marine Reserve to see the colourful profusion of sea life that Lifou has to offer. For an insight into Melanesian culture, you can head to the village of Hnathalo, where you can see one of the largest chief's huts in New Caledonia and learn how to prepare a local dish.
These ports are only a small selection of the places you can discover with cheap cruises - find out today where a cruising holiday could take you!