Cruise Companies – The Best of the Best

Cruise Companies Servicing Australia -Cruises Australia

Cruise Companies Overview

If you are considering trying the cruise experience this year, an overview of the major cruise companies is below. The quality of the services is quite high, as competition is rising, but you might find that the specific features of certain cruise companies better suit your needs.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Cruises AustraliaCarnival Cruise Lines has its headquarters in Miami, Florida and was founded in 1972. With 24 ships and approximately 4.4 million passengers in 2012, it is currently the largest cruising company.  With a crew of 39,000 on board and an additional 4,000 on shore, this company makes sure that the client’s needs are met. Throughout 2013, there will be different cruises departing from Australia. Carnival is a leading cruising company that offers all the standard facilities of large ships, like many pools and different dining options. What is special about them, is the fact that passengers can enjoy a very active, out-going lifestyle while on board. When it comes to entrainment, DJ Irie along with the Punchliner show presented by George Lopez are some of the highlights. Karaoke, Sports bar, piano bar, casino and several nightclubs guarantee a lively nightlife. Thrill theater and video arcade areas are guaranteed to keep teens happy and Carnival Waterworks is a joy for youngsters. If you’re  all about shopping, dancing and devouring burgers, they sure will have fun. But if you are the quiet type, do not worry, as there is the adults-only Serenity Retreat and spa as well as a library that will accommodate your need for some tranquil time.

Cunard Cruise Lines

Cruises from AustraliaCunard line, famous for it’s iconic cruise ship Queen Mary 2, is also part of the Carnival Corporation since 1998. Cunard has a long history that started in 1839, when the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract was awarded to Samuel Cunard. The British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company was formed the year after. Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Victoria are the older sisters of Queen Mary 2 and are all luxurious cruising ships reaching far away destinations. Cunard has received awards on many sectors, including food and accommodation quality. Cunard offers luxury cruises with very convenient, all-inclusive packages. You get 24-hour room service, a refrigerator, hair-dryer, safe and a daily newspaper delivered in your room everyday. Flights to the port of the departure are also included in the fee and so are all the meals that you will enjoy in the main restaurant or the buffets. And don’t worry about the kids, as there is a nursery with supervision, with age specific facilities. Entrainment is also included in the fees and so is the use of the spa and fitness facilities. A great asset of Cunard, if you are into developing your intellect, is its Enrichment program. Lectures and events in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Royal Astronomical Society and Julliard School Jazz series take your cruising experience a step further.

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Cruises AustraliaAnother one of the leading cruise company is Royal Caribbean. It is now also based in Miami, but it started of in 1969 as a collaboration of three Norwegian shipping companies. Its fleet consists of 22 ships, that traveled 2012 in 71 countries, on 6 continents, visiting 233 ports. It has 6 different classes of ships, with the biggest ones belonging to the Oasis class and having a capacity of 5,400 guests. “Allure of the Seas” and “Oasis of the Seas” are the biggest cruise ships to date, offering for the first time, a neighborhood concept on the sea. Each of the Oasis class ships has 7 distinct neighborhoods, offering everything from specialty dinning, to rock climbing, wave simulators and luxurious spas.  This company offers a number of cruises departing Sydney and a few that leave from Perth. “Voyager of the Seas”, the 9th in the list of the biggest cruise ships, departs from Sydney. Loyal to Royal Caribbean’s idea of offering as many activities on board as possible, it is equipped with a basketball court, in-line skating tracks, ice-skating ring, mini golf court, 6 whirlpools, specialty dinning options, spa and youth and toddler programs and exclusive zones. With the amount of options on-board, you don’t even need to get of the ship, to be entertained.

P&O Cruise Lines

Cruises AustraliaP&O cruises is another company that has cruises from Australia and New Zealand. It was founded in 1837 as the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) where it organised vacation cruises taking passengers from England to the Iberian Peninsular and the Mediterranean. Today P&O Cruises is Australia and New Zealand’s leading cruise line when it comes to destination ports in the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Cruises depart from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland, offering more planning options to passengers, who usually have to travel first to the departure port for other companies. The fleet consists of three ships, the most famous of which is Pacific Dawn, designed by star architect Renzo Piano. The Dome entrainment area is the highlight of the ship, as it offers great view and a variety of events take place in it. The other unique feature of P&O cruises ships is the connecting cabins. Ideal for families, both you and your kids can have your privacy, while still being close to each other. With age-specific areas for kids and exclusive adult areas, even in large ships like these families and adults can enjoy a cruise together without bothering each other. And if you are a foodie, on P&O ships you will be able to experience the first celebrity chef menu, by Luke Mangan.

Princess Cruises

Cruises from AustraliaPrincess cruises is the third largest cruising line in the world, with a fleet of 16 ships and an average of 1.3 millions passengers per year. It started out in 1965 and it is a British-American company with its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California. This company has been awarded “Best Itineraries” 8 years straight, and it has many cruises from Australia and New Zealand. It has currently a fleet of 14 large cruise ships and 2 smaller ships. In June 2013, Royal Princess will join the fleet. It is a  3,600-passenger cruise ship with an expanded atrium and a huge deck pool, used also for light and diving shows. The smaller ships have mainly adult passengers and they offer a laid back, yet classy environment that is ideal for couples who want to enjoy a special holiday. Princess Cruises has interesting packages that combine extensive touring with cruising and allow you to visit areas that are not that easily accessible otherwise. Australian Outback Adventure, Ultimate Australia Adventure and Tropical Australia Highlights cruise tours will take you to several UNESCO world heritage sites, including the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock and Kakadu national park.

Holland America Line

Cruises from SydneyHolland America Line is another British-American cruising company. When it was founded in 1873, its headquarters were in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Nowadays it is based in Seattle, Washington, in the United States. It is also part of the Carnival Corporation. Its fleet includes 15 ships, mainly of smaller sizes, but in 2015 a 2,660-passenger cruise ship is expected to be delivered. Holland America Line offers both long and shorter cruises. From the 16-night Barrier Reef cruise, to the 27-night Australia and New Zealand, to the even longer 110-night Grand World Voyage, there is something for every taste and budget. Holland America Line focuses on classic luxury. Here you will find organic cotton bathrobes, personalized spa treatments and yoga programs and the Mariner Dream Bed, for a perfect sleep on board. These are all features of their “Signature of Excellence” program, which guarantees constant upgrades in their ships. New furnishing, pools and entertainment areas are added often, to keep their ships in an excellent and up to date state. Furthermore, if you are an art lover you will love Holland America ships, as they offer not only original works of art in great prices, but the thrill of auctions as well! The on board experience is more focused in relaxation and pampering than crazy party life or kids, thus its a good choice if you are going for a quiet, intimate vacation.  Sydney in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand are the ports mostly used for embarking and/or disembarking in the Southern Hemisphere. This cruising lines offers also a variety of on shore experiences, like a visit at Waitomo Caves, a Panoramic Melbourne tour, an evening at the Sydney Opera house and many more, that cover most tastes.

So, what is your choice? Holidays with your friends and party till the dawn on a Carnival ship? Old-time luxury and getting to know the Universe with the Cunard lectures? Adrenalin-filled cruise with rock-climbing and surfing on a Royal Caribbean ship? Splurging on Mangan’s great dishes over at P&O? A romantic cruise with your significant other on a cozy Princess Cruise vessel? Or a soul-searching cruise around the world with Holland America? Whatever your preferences, there is a company that is right for you and will accommodate your needs on every level. Happy cruising!

 

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