Cruising from the U.S. to Australia is a considerable undertaking, involving many days at sea and numerous ports of call. Even the shortest U.S.-Australia cruises, which depart from Honolulu, Hawaii, are around three weeks long – not quite a quick shore excursion to get down under! Those leaving from mainland ports on the east and west coasts range from three weeks to over 50 days. The list of cruise lines, itinerary options and departure points is extensive, and you'll find a dizzying list of enticements as you envision and plan an unforgettable voyage across the globe with the promise of kangaroos, snorkeling, and opera houses when you get to your destination!
Consider all the different cruise options when you’re booking: from Carnival to Princess Cruises to Crystal Cruises, and be sure to look out for special offers for your trip to Australia & New Zealand. There are so many places to visit when you arrive: Broome, Adelaide, Perth, and Queensland, to name a few, so be sure to book your cruise to arrive at the destination of your choice.
From Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Holland America Line operates two cruises from Fort Lauderdale – the 37-day Grand World Voyage and 42-day Grand World Voyage, both ending in Sydney. Each cruise heads south from Florida through the Caribbean, traverses the Panama Canal and calls at ports in the South Pacific, including Tahiti and Bora Bora. New Zealand stops include Auckland and Tauranga. The longer cruise adds a journey down the coast of South America, stopping at ports in Peru and Chile before heading west via Easter Island and Pitcairn Island. Cunard also sails from Fort Lauderdale to Sydney with a 37-night Panama Canal and New Zealand voyage on the Queen Victoria. After passing through the Panama Canal, it heads north to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, then to San Francisco, before following a southwest course through the Hawaiian islands to Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand.
From Los Angeles, California
Three cruise lines sail from Los Angeles to Sydney: Seabourn with its 56-day Pacific Exploration, Crystal Cruises with its 24-day Pacific Sojourn and Oceania, which has a 31-day LA to Sydney cruise. Highlights of Seabourn's itinerary include four consecutive days in Hawaii, a visit to the remote Fanning Island in Kiribati, two days in the Solomon Islands and three in Papua New Guinea, as well as a Great Barrier Reef visit, one of five destinations in Australia. Crystal Cruises' shorter journey takes you to seven Pacific islands – Maui, Oahu, Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia – before reaching Australia, where it stops first at the tiny, mountainous Norfolk Island on the way to Sydney. Oceania's cruise similarly hits Hawaii, French Polynesia, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia. It stops in Brisbane as well as Sydney.
From San Francisco, California
Cunard offers three cruises from San Francisco to Australia: 22-night and 21-night San Francisco to Sydney voyages and a 23-night San Francisco to Brisbane voyage. The 22-night cruise on the Queen Elizabeth calls at Honolulu, Hawaii; Bora Bora, Tahiti; and Moorea in French Polynesia. In New Zealand it visits Auckland and Bay of Islands before continuing to Sydney. The 21-night version follows a slightly different route, trading Samoa and Tonga for the French Polynesian ports and adding a third New Zealand destination, Tauranga. Cunard's San Francisco to Brisbane cruise extends this route by one day and with one final stop in Brisbane.
From San Diego, California
Oceania's 48-day San Diego to Sydney cruise ship crosses the Pacific to New Zealand, traverses the Fjords of Milford Sound and the Tasman Sea to Tasmania and finally reaches mainland Australia. The itinerary features more than a dozen ports of call in the Pacific, among them three Hawaiian islands, eight in French Polynesia and seven in New Zealand. This cruise also takes you to six places in Australia, namely Norfolk Island, Burnie in Tasmania, Geelong, Melbourne, Eden and Sydney.
From New York, New York
Oceania is the only cruise line to offer a cruise to Australia from New York – its 51-day Pacific Endeavors voyage. Highlights include stops in Havana, Cuba and Cartagena, Colombia, on the way to the Panama Canal. After emerging on the Pacific side, it calls at ports in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico, along with Los Angeles. From here the Insignia follows the familiar westward course through Hawaii, French Polynesia and other islands in the South Pacific, stopping at several New Zealand ports before reaching Sydney.
From Honolulu, Hawaii
Cruises to Australia departing from Honolulu comprise Celebrity's 18-night Tahitian Treasures, Royal Caribbean's 19-night Transpacific Cruise and Holland America's 18-day South Pacific Crossing. All three end in Sydney. Celebrity's and Royal Caribbean's itineraries are somewhat similar, both calling at Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea, but the Celebrity cruise starts with a visit to Maui and in New Zealand visits Auckland and Bay of Islands. Royal Caribbean's New Zealand destinations are Wellington and Picton. The Holland America cruise follows a different course from Honolulu to Sydney, stopping first in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, then hitting three islands in Fiji (Viti Levu, Dravuni Island and Lautoka) and two in New Caledonia (Lifou and Mare).