Plenty of cruise lines sail between the east and west coast of Australia – usually between Sydney and Fremantle – each year. These voyages often take place as part of a repositioning of a particular ship between the two sides of the country and often, they will travel either in a northern or a southern direction and once at their new port, the ship will then spend a period of time based at that port, sailing round-trip for passengers from that particular market.

What this means is that if you had the time and desire, it’s very difficult to simply board a commercial cruise ship and do a complete lap of the country in one go, boarding and returning to your point of departure in one go. That is, until now.

Australian cruising wholesaler Cruiseco has chartered the French expedition cruise ship L’Austral – part of the Ponant fleet – for a 40-night voyage from Sydney, scheduled to set sail on 25 January 2018.

While it will completely circumnavigate Australia, the vessel will also take travellers deep into some of the more remote bays and ports around the country that larger cruise ships cannot, and therefore don’t, visit during their repositioning voyages. After leaving Sydney, the 264-passenger ship will head south, with its itinerary including the following ports:

  • Tasmania – Wineglass Bay, Beauty Point and King Island.
  • Victoria – Port Campbell (a short distance from the 12 Apostles).
  • South Australia – Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln.
  • Western Australia – Esperance, Albany, Busselton, Fremantle, Geraldton, Turquoise Bay, Broome (for an overnight stay in port), Talbot Bay and Wyndham.
  • Northern Territory – Darwin and Yirrkala Aboriginal Settlement.
  • Queensland – Thursday Island, Cape York (the most northern tip of Australia), Lizard Island, Cooktown, Port Douglas, Hamilton Island and Fraser Island.

There will also be one stop in Selaru, Indonesia while the ship cruises between Western Australia and Northern Territory.

Over the 40-day voyage, there will be a total of 15 days at sea, with no more than two in one stretch between ports. The only parts of the journey where there will be two consecutive days at sea will be between Port Lincoln, SA and Esperance, WA and then again at the end of the cruise between Fraser Island and the ship’s return to Sydney.

Included in the cruise are are all meals in the two restaurants of L’Austral, all beverages (except premium spirits), zodiac excursions in Wineglass Bay, Talbot Bay, Yirrkala, Frangipani Beach and Lizard Island, while touring in other ports will also be available.

A voyage of this length and in-depth experience though doesn’t come cheap, with staterooms for the entire journey starting from $26,500. The itinerary can only be booked through a Cruiseco travel agent