While nowhere near the size and scale of the cruise markets in the eastern capital cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, travellers can enjoy a plethora of new destinations that are much easier to reach if departing from Fremantle, the main cruise terminal serving the Western Australia capital of Perth.
Cruise ships representing many different brands and spending different lengths of time sailing Australian waters often travel between the east and west coasts over the course of the year, setting up shop in Perth for a short period of time each year where they deliver their cruise product to WA residents.
Perth is also often in the privileged position whereby it’s the first port in Australia to welcome either a brand new ship visiting local waters for the first time, as it will for Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas later this year, or a recently refurbished vessel returning from its dry dock, which often takes place in Singapore, as it did for Sun Princess.
Whether you’re a resident of Perth or interested in flying over to the west coast for a cruise, here are some of the voyages at your disposal over the next year or so.
What itineraries is it offering? Cruisers can explore the northern coastline of their own state on an eight-night voyage calling in Geraldton, Broome and Exmouth, departing on 19 June and 10 July 2016 and again on 21 April 2017. A nine-night alternative also spends a day in the Margaret River region as the last port of call before returning to Fremantle.
The other major itinerary on the P&O schedule from Perth is the 12-night ‘Indonesian Adventure’ which is scheduled for 07 June and 28 June 2016 and then departing again next year on 09 April and 28 May 2017. This voyage visits Komodo Island, Makassar, Ujung Pandang, Lombok, Probolinggo and Benoa (Bali) before returning to Fremantle.
What itineraries is it offering? Opportunities to cruise with Royal Caribbean from Perth are very limited so when they do come around, they often sell out very quickly. Primarily an east-coast line, Royal Caribbean will conclude a voyage from Sydney to Perth with Radiance of the Seas before it sets off on the return one-way journey on 16 November 2016, which will also include an adventure to New Zealand. This voyage will visit Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington and Picton before arriving back in Sydney. This itinerary will be repeated on 25 February 2017.
However, in what will undoubtedly be Fremantle’s cruising highlight of 2016, it will be the first port in Australia to welcome Royal Caribbean’s brand new vessel Ovation of the Seas as it cruises from Singapore around to Sydney on its first venture into local waters. This voyage is not available on the Royal Caribbean website as it is a Cruiseco charter, so if you’d like to be part of this voyage to Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney, visit your local travel agent.
What itineraries is it offering? Princess Cruises is nothing if not extremely fair to the WA market, as it gives cruisers in Perth a chance to sail on all three of its Australia-based ships at different points of the year. Princess Cruises ships operate cruises of various durations from Fremantle. These include:
- Three-day long weekends to the Margaret River region.
- Five-day one-way cruises to Adelaide, visiting Albany and Kangaroo Island.
- An eight-day repositioning from Fremantle to Sydney on Emerald Princess.
- The 12-day ‘Treasures of Southeast Asia’ one-way itinerary will be offered by both Dawn Princess and Sea Princess, visiting Lombok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi and Phuket before arriving in Singapore. The ship will then return to Fremantle on a new 14-day voyage visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Benoa (Bali).
- A 15-day Indonesia round-trip visiting Komodo Island, Ujung Pandang, Semarang, Probolinggo, Benoa (Bali) and Lombok.
Other itineraries available from Perth include explorations of Northern Australia and Queensland, Papua New Guinea and even a full 29-day circumnavigation of Australia.
What itineraries is it offering? Cruise & Maritime Voyages is a British brand which operates classic cruise ships, some more than 50 years old, but which have been heavily refurbished to offer a very luxurious product. One such ship, the MS Astor, is nearing its 30th year of operation but has taken the Perth market utterly by storm since it arrived a few summers ago.
The ship repositions from the United Kingdom each year to its base in Fremantle. Once it arrives, it spends a few months sailing round-trip voyages north along the Western Australia coast and up to Indonesia, south to Adelaide, as well as many different themed party cruises out to sea and back. You can even spend a night onboard partying like a cruise ship passenger would, but without the ship even going anywhere – effectively a floating hotel.
What itineraries is it offering? Holland America Line rarely offers a cruise departure from Perth but MS Maasdam will do just that as part of its maiden foray into Australian waters this coming summer.
Only one departure is available this year, on 07 November. Travellers can take it as either a nine-day cruise via Adelaide and Burnie, Tasmania through to Melbourne, or continue on to Sydney and extend that to 11 days. This voyage is selling out very fast though so if your plans for the second half of the year include this holiday, you’ll want to be quick.