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21 May 2013
Grand Pacific World Cruise 2013 Sector
Sun Princess - 50 nights ex Beijing (Tanggu), China
Get away on the Sun Princess enjoying 50 relaxing nights aboard the Grand Pacific World Cruise 2013 Sector to New Zealand. The voyage starts out from Beijing (Tanggu) and visits 21 ports in 9 countries before returning to Sydney. Your 4 star cruise from Princess Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
BONUS up to $485 onboard cabin credit for this cruise!
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Tue 21 May 2013||Beijing (Tanggu), China||7.00pm|
| Beijing, in Tanggu Province, northern China, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational centre. It is also China's most important centre for international trade and communications. Each year sees about 4.4 million international visitors join with 140 million Chinese tourists to visit this popular tourist destination. Renowned tourist attractions include the: Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Tombs, the National Stadium, and not least Tiananmen Square. As the cultural centre of China, it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.
Don't neglect to take a rickshaw ride or a tour to the Beijing Hutongs, a wonderful way to reflect on the local people’s lives. Indeed there are around twenty practical day tours worth including, and these include bicycling and walking tours. Places of interest are: Fragrant Hill Park, Niujie Mosque, 798 Factory Art District, Beijing World Park, Lugou Bridge, Songshan Nature Reserve, Yangi Lake Amusement Park, and the wonderful spectacle of the Yinhu Cave. Enjoy shopping for a bargain, perhaps view an acrobatic performance, and thoroughly enjoy the delicious food, especially a Peking Duck dinner.
Street food in Beijing is located in Gui Street and showcases many excellent cuisines. Stretching over 1km, 90% of the commercial shops in the street house more than 150 eateries. You can definitely find most of the larger restaurants here. Shoppers should be aware that at nearly all markets in Beijing, bartering is essential. When browsing through large, ‘touristy’ shopping areas, do not put it beneath your dignity to start bargaining at 15% of the vendor's initial asking price. In fact, final prices can often be as low as 15%-20% of the initial asking price.
|2||Wed 22 May 2013||At Sea|
|3||Thu 23 May 2013||Pusan, South Korea||12.00pm||7.00pm|
| Pusan, the second largest city and principal port of South Korea, is situated in the SE of the peninsula on the Korea Strait. The city has many steep hills, creating a delightful mix of mountains and ocean. While Pusan was relatively untouched during the Korean War, the flood of refugees has shaped the city. Tourists often come to this region to hike and to visit the Buddhist Temples located deep within the region's mountains. The Beomeosa Temple, founded in 678 AD, is perhaps one of the most frequented temples in the area and is always packed with worshipers and tourists. For art buffs, Busan offers several museums and historical buildings.
Pusan is famous for its seafood, beaches (such as Haeundae Beach district with its carnival board-walk, and Gwangalli Beach with its famed cafes, bars and restaurants), and the Hallyosudo Waterway with its picturesque islands. You will enjoy shopping at the local branch of the Lotte Duty Free Department Store, and E-Mart, as well as strolling in the scenic Taejongdae Park with its great sea views. Also worth visiting is the large Busan Aquarium with its 3D ride and excellent displays, while the Haeundae Cruise Boat that starts from the ferry terminal provides a one-hour trip that offers breathtaking views of fantastically shaped cliffs.
Take the reasonably priced all-day hop-on hop-off City Tour Bus, and visit PIFF Square, which is full of movie memorabilia, shopping and various outlets of great food. You will enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Also of great interest are the Theme Park, Shinsegae Centum City Spaland, the Jagalchi Market, Jump (a comic martial arts performance), and the Pusan Museum, as well as several interesting temples. There is certainly a fascinating variety of places to visit in this, the fifth largest port in the world. If scenery is your interest, try visiting Dongbaek Island, or bird watch at the Nakdong river estuary.
|4||Fri 24 May 2013||Nagasaki, Japan||6.00am||7.00pm|
| Nagasaki City, on the island of Kyushu in Japan, lies at the heart of Nagasaki-hanto Peninsula. As one of Japan's closest port cities to the Asian mainland, Nagasaki has played a prominent role in foreign trade relations for many centuries. This is a port city that developed up the steep slope of a mountain, while also stretching horizontally to hug the Nagasaki Gulf. For an excellent view of the city one should go to the top of Inasa. The night view is absolutely amazing. Nagasaki is best known for being the second and last city in the world to be subjected to nuclear attack.
Reminders of this are reflected in the many sights tourists visit. These include the Nagasaki Peace Park with its amazingly large statue, the nearby Atomic bomb Hypocentre, and the Atomic Bomb Museum, a well-done commemoration of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. Add to this the Museum of History and Culture, and the National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and understand that all of these structures are designed to appeal to the desire for peace in the world. There was a time when Nagasaki harbor was the only harbor in Japan to which entry of foreign ships was permitted.
Not surprisingly, Glover Garden, a pleasant collection of relocated European style homes built for foreign traders and diplomats when Japan was first opened to the world, reflects this historical fact. There are numerous other places of interest including some fine shopping centres, such as the You-me Plaza, AMYU Plaza, and Cocowalk. Add to this the Penguin Aquarium, Science Museum, a variety of shrines, O-ura Tenshudo Christian church built in 1864, Mount Inasa, and several beautiful parks. You are sure to get a feel for, and an understanding of, this dramatically changed and rebuilt city.
|5||Sat 25 May 2013||At Sea|
|6||Sun 26 May 2013||Osaka, Japan||7.00am||7.00pm|
| Osaka, the heart of the Greater Osaka Area, is located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, and is the third largest city in Japan. Historically it is also regarded as the commercial capital of Japan, as evidenced by its daytime population being over a million greater than its night time population. From above ground and underground shopping malls and specialised shopping complexes, to the unusual America Mura which offers both new and used clothing, as well as flea markets, and the Asia Pacific Trade Centre with its international wholesale market, shopping here truly is a fascinating experience.
Visit the amusement park Expo Land and the famous spa complex Festival Gate. As Osaka is traditionally famous for its down-to-earth citizens and hearty cuisine, be sure to enjoy the local meals. Do explore the Osaka Bay (Osaka Wan) area, to enjoy the many tourist attractions in this district, especially the world-famous Osaka Aquarium. One of the largest in the world, it offers the opportunity to see some 30,000 marine animals, including a whale shark, penguins, dolphins and sea lions.
Also in this area one can visit the Suntory Museum which is ideal for lovers of contemporary art in all its forms. Then there’s Osaka Castle, a museum built in the shape of a castle, and the Umeda sky building where an escalator takes visitors mid-air to the rooftop observatory for an open-air view of Osaka. Take a ride on the fifth largest Ferris wheel in the world, and visit Universal Studios theme park. Although regarded as being best viewed under the neon lights of night, it is a fascinating destination.
|7||Mon 27 May 2013||At Sea|
|8||Tue 28 May 2013||Yokohama, Japan||7.00am||8.00pm|
| Yokohama is located on the western coast of Tokyo Bay, less than half an hour's train journey directly south of Tokyo. It is the second largest city in Japan and one of the cities most visited by foreigners. Despite being devastated by bombings in WWII it remains a maritime city and retains an international flavour. Nissan and city of Yokohama have launched Japan’s first-ever car-sharing program with ultra-compact EVs (electric vehicles). The main objectives of the project are to reduce carbon emissions on public roads, improve the quality of transportation in the city, and promote tourism.
Among its many attractions are Yamashita Park along the waterfront with the famous ship Hikawa Maru (that now serves as a museum), the nearby Yokohama Marine Tower, Zoorasia (one of Japan's largest and best kept zoos with animals from as far away as the Amazon and Africa). Then there’s the largest of Japan's Chinatowns, Yamate and Motomachi (former residential areas of foreign merchants), and The Ramen Museum which is dedicated entirely to a very popular Japanese noodle dish. If interested in shopping, then the Suit Company Yokohama Station West must be visited. This company is a long-trusted retailer of quality clothing for both men and women, at affordable prices.
Needless to say there are a large number of other fascinating shopping venues. If you have some time take a half-day excursion to Sankei-en, an extensive Japanese Garden just south of Yokohama, that provides a perfect setting with its picturesque temples and other ancient buildings. For relaxation, visit the Negishhi Forest and the picturesque Seseragi Parks. Many enjoy visiting the Tattoos History Museum. Whatever you do, you are sure to enjoy this spacious and open harbour frontage city, with its generally low-rise skyline.
|9||Wed 29 May 2013||At Sea|
|10||Thu 30 May 2013||At Sea|
|11||Fri 31 May 2013||At Sea|
|12||Sat 1 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|13||Sun 2 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|14||Mon 3 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|15||Tue 4 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|16||Wed 5 Jun 2013||Seward, USA||6.00am||6.00pm|
| Ice-free the year round, Seward was a natural choice as the ocean terminal and supply centre during the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Fishing is great all year round and not surprisingly Seward is famous for its Annual Silver Salmon Derby, the biggest fishing event in Alaska. Also very well known is its Fourth of July celebration that features a gruelling foot race to the top of Mt. Marathon. The small coastal town itself is known for its scenic views, several fantastic trips and tours as well as its fine selection of shops.
Fascinating things to do include: a day trip to the Kenai Fjords National Park with its abundant marine life and awesome glaciers, and finding out what lives beneath the surface of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound by visiting the Sea Life Centre that is financed in part by the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement. Other options include taking an exciting Dog Sled ride at Exit Glacier, or kayaking at Fox Island.
A very popular option includes a visit to Anchorage, which is connected to Seward by both a very scenic train trip as well as the highway that is a national scenic byway. In Anchorage visitors find a delightful city, friendly people, great shopping and good restaurants. Above all if there be sure to include a visit to its amazing Anchorage Museum that presents a fantastic view of the history of the area.
|17||Thu 6 Jun 2013||Hubbard Glacier, USA||1.00pm||7.00pm|
| Marching to the beat of a different drum, Hubbard Glacier is advancing while the rest of Alaska's ice rivers are receding rapidly. In 1986 and again in 2002 the glacier galloped forward, closing off Russell Fjord to create an entirely new lake. These phenomena quickly passed and were followed by short retreats, but the glacier is once again on the move and Russell Fjord is headed for another spell as an inland body of water. Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, extending over 120 km from its source on Mt Logan in the Yukon.
As Hubbard advances it creaks and groans as it moves and is a very actively calving glacier. This makes for some exciting moments when the huge chunks of ice crash into the bay creating a wonderful sound known locally as 'white thunder'. The sail up to Hubbard is both leisurely and beautiful. Small ice bergs, sometimes with sea birds or seals resting on them, float in the water that is glacial blue. Seals calve on the ice bergs here as Orca whales do not visit the bay.
This huge white and ice blue glacier is lit by the most amazing, unpolluted day light you have ever seen. The ship gets up so close you can pick out the colours and lines all along the Glacier. Then are heard massive cracks, like gunshots, as avalanches and ice drop off the Glacier itself. It is truly an amazing once in a lifetime sight, possibly a Wonder of the World.
|18||Fri 7 Jun 2013||Glacier Bay, USA||10.30am||8.30pm|
| Glacier Bay, situated in SE Alaska, USA, was originally a large single glacier of solid ice until early in the 18th century. Since it started retreating, it has left about 50 glaciers in its trail and become the largest protected water area park in the world. While its many branches, inlets, lagoons, islands, and channels provide prospects for scientific exploration, it is primarily an amazing visual spectacle. Glaciers descending from high snow-capped mountains into the bay create spectacular displays of ice and iceberg formations.
Interestingly, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes nine tidewater glaciers, four of which actively carve icebergs into the bay. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also famous for its wildlife that include grizzly and black bears, moose, black-tailed deer, mountain goats, wolves, lynx, sea otters, seals, sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, orcas, humpback whales, bald eagles, and gulls, as well over 200 bird species.
Cruise ships typically spend a full day (9-10 hours) in Glacier Bay including a stop at a major tidewater glacier. National Park Service park rangers come on beard to provide a narrative about important aspects of the visit, give a presentation about the park, and answer passengers' questions. They often have a bookstore with maps and brochures as well as a variety of exhibits/hands-on materials to enhance your visit.
|19||Sat 8 Jun 2013||Juneau, USA||6.00am||5.00pm|
| Built on a narrow shelf between Mt. Juneau and the deep waters of Gastineau Channel, Juneau is Alaska's state capital and a rewarding destination for glacier viewing. Juneau is a blend of fishermen and teachers, legislators and artists, homemakers and lawyers, union workers and frontier entrepreneurs, students and Native elders, all sharing an active port city within an inspiring wilderness setting. Visitors often take the Mount Roberts Tramway, an aerial tramway, that takes them from the cruise ship docks up to the SW ridge of Mount Roberts, providing great scenic views of Juneau and the Gastineau Channel. Twenty kilometres out of town is the Mendenhall glacier, a must-see.
In front of the federal building, the large fountain with its bronze statue of pelicans, which are not indigenous to Alaska, is most appealing. Juneau is home to the Alaska State Museum, which contains a life-sized eagle tree, as well as other permanent galleries. However, you must visit the Red Dog Saloon with its swinging doors, sawdust floors, and flag covered ceiling. The cherished memorabilia that includes Wyatt Earp's gun, a walrus oosik (a walrus penis bone), trophy, wildlife mounts, historical posters, photographs, and currency signed by miners, simply just blows one away.
Juneau Whale Watch’s custom boats depart from Auke Bay Harbour and explore Alaska’s Inside Passage for the best Juneau whale watching. May through September this spot is the playground for whales, eagles, Orca, bears, as well as a number of different seabirds. In fact it is one of the largest concentrations of Humpback whales found anywhere on the planet. That’s how they can guarantee that whales will be seen. On top of that visitors will witness some of the most spectacular views, sharp rising snow-capped mountains on either side of calm, clear blue water, surrounded by lush green fir trees.
|20||Sun 9 Jun 2013||Ketchikan, USA||10.00am||7.00pm|
| Alaska’s ‘first city’ Ketchikan is situated along the shores of Alaska's Inside Passage within the heart of the Tongass National Forest. Evergreen mountains rise out of the water, the lush green landscape nurtured by the abundant rainfall of the temperate rainforest environment. Visitors are presented with a remarkable array of activities and attractions that highlight the town's history, industry and culture, and bring them up close to resident wildlife. Ketchikan’s impressive variety of shops and galleries feature work by many of the island’s resident artists as well as an assortment of souvenir items and unique gifts that make shopping a ‘must-do’.
Visitors are presented with a good choice of one-day tours that can be enjoyed in four hours or less. These include a self-guided option based on the official Walking Tour map that directs visitors to the numbered signs posted along the routes. Together with this, visitors can pay for an audio walking tour, which provides insightful information about what is seen. Also on offer is the opportunity to experience the real Alaska by going fishing or wild-life viewing. Another option is to rent a ‘classic car’ that includes a self-touring guide, an experience that helps visitors ‘return to their youth’.
Truly worth visiting are the Ketchikan Alaska Museums and Heritage Centres that are home to fascinating totem poles and native Alaskan artefacts, along with preserving and promoting local traditional arts and crafts. These include the Tongass Historical Museum with both permanent and temporary exhibits, and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Centre with a flexible plan that allows for improvisation by educational groups, community groups and families. If possible enjoy the amazing local food on offer, such as king crab, salmon and halibut, Ketchikan's seafood specialties that are always fresh. Ketchikan has a climate greatly modified and moderated by its maritime location.
|21||Mon 10 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|22||Tue 11 Jun 2013||Vancouver, Canada||7.30am||10.00pm|
| Vancouver is a sophisticated coastal city located to the south of British Columbia, Canada. The city is linguistically and ethnically diverse as reflected in the fact that 52 percent of its inhabitants do not speak English as their first language. Ranked highly in worldwide ‘liveable city’ rankings for many years and being surrounded by nature’s scenery at its best, makes tourism its second largest industry. This beautiful city brims with attractions such as Vancouver's Olympic Village located on the SE side of False Creek, which offers stunning views of the city's downtown skyline and Coastal mountains.
The city is also renowned for its unique dining experiences, boutiques, and shopping districts such as Antique Row, and exotic Chinatown. Don’t miss the historically renovated Gastown - the oldest downtown neighborhood - filled with great souvenirs, good food, and Native Arts and Crafts. If you are looking for funky, hip stuff, then visit Commercial Drive and Central Granville. To relax, visit the delightful Stanley Park, resplendent with its deep forest, totem poles, and scenic promenades. Its nickname Hollywood North comes as no surprise, as it is the third- largest film production centre in North America.
Of great assistance to visitors is the very modern Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre. Here one finds helpful volunteers to find pictures and maps for all kinds of locations, including all the restaurants, attractions, activity information, and coupons. Also available is the public transportation map, which is helpful to get around the town if you want to go outside of walking distance, and don't want to use rental car or cab. Also popular with visitors are: Granville Island that offers a feast for the senses; Grouse Mountain, especially in the snow season for skiing and snowboarding; and Whistler, a luxurious slice of paradise just a two hour drive away.
|23||Wed 12 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|24||Thu 13 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|25||Fri 14 Jun 2013||San Francisco, USA||6.00am||6.00pm|
| San Francisco, on the Californian coast, is one of America’s most attractive cities with its famous Golden Gate Bridge, steep streets that provide panoramic views of the beautiful San Francisco Bay and surrounding mountains, and its eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. Perhaps also famous for the nearby Silicon Valley, this ‘City by the Bay’ has become even more international with large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Explore the amazing Fisherman’s Wharf that offers great food, and the numerous boutiques. Take a hop-on hop-off bus that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the beautiful scenery and expensive homes at the Marin Headlands.
Cruise on one of the many ferries, visit the famed Alcatraz Island with its abandoned prison in the middle of the bay, and possibly even visit Oakland and Berkeley that lie just across the Bay. One couldn’t possibly leave without taking a ride on one of its antique cable cars that still shuttle passengers up and down the city slopes. Then there are the ethnic neighbourhoods like Chinatown and Japantown, each with their traditional shops and their own uniqueness. North Beach is known as an Italian neighbourhood, the Mission District as a Hispanic community, and Castro Street for its gay and lesbian population.
The unique mixture of diverse cultures is reflected in the great San Francisco cuisine. There are many highlight walks you can take. Some of the best ones are: Fillmore, between Pine and Broadway, lined with a good mix of shopping, views, steep slopes, and some of the city's largest and most expensive homes; and Columbus that runs from North Point in Fisherman's Wharf, through the grand church, and famous cafes at the heart of North Beach to the landmark Transamerica pyramid. A day’s coach tour will take you to Yosemite National Park.
|26||Sat 15 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|27||Sun 16 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|28||Mon 17 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|29||Tue 18 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|30||Wed 19 Jun 2013||Hilo, USA||9.00am||6.00pm|
| Hilo is an impressively beautiful town and the largest settlement in Hawaii, overlooking Hilo Bay with beaches, caves, rivers, and waterfalls within its limits. The town is near two shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa, considered active, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano where some of the best ground-based astronomical observatories are placed. Though not necessarily seen as a tourist town, if you can do without a few amenities, you will be thoroughly rewarded here.
Visit: the Rainbow Falls in a gorge blanketed with lush vegetation, the Tropical Botanical Gardens with its delightful flowers and wonderful views of the ocean, the Lili'uokalani gardens to absorb its quaint Japanese features, and the Nauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitors Centre to enjoy the famous nuts. Also on offer are helicopter rides that provide an excellent overview of the entire island.
If travelling to the Kiouea and Volcano National Park to see its active volcano, then be sure to stop and see the delightful Akatsuda Orchid Gardens. The Tsunami Museum and the Lyman Mission House and Museum present fascinating historical facts about the area, and if you wish to experience something truly different, then visit the Punakuu black-sand beach and watch the green turtles basking.
|31||Thu 20 Jun 2013||Lahaina, USA||7.00am||6.00pm|
| Lahaina is the largest town in West Maui Hawaii and is the gateway to the famous Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts north of the town. The banyan tree in Courthouse Square is noteworthy for its size. As a strangling fig, it has grown by dropping roots from its branches that then become additional trunks, allowing it to cover two-thirds of an acre. Lahaina's Front Street, along the waterfront – with stores offering a broad variety of food and entertainment – has been ranked one of the ‘Top Ten Greatest Streets’ by the American Planning Association, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lahaina is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still get a feel for old Lahaina as you stroll down lively Front Street and visit historic stops like the U.S. Seamen’s Hospital, Lahaina Prison, the Pioneer Inn and other sites on the Historic Trail. In 1831 a fort was built for defense, and the remains of its 6.1 m walls and original cannons can still be seen. Also nearby are the historic Pioneer Inn and Baldwin House. In conjunction with this, the winning show Ulalena at the Maui Theatre offers a Broadway-calibre production showcasing the culture of Hawaii.
Surfing in the inviting ocean is often the top priority for many, while snorkelling - perhaps from the island of Molakini - is delightful and whales can be seen everywhere from November through to March. Take the opportunity to taste the fresh regional cuisine at the fine restaurants or experience a seaside luau, where you can not only enjoy some great food and drink, but also watch the traditional dances of Polynesia. During the winter months, don’t forget to set sail from Lahaina Harbor on an unforgettable whale-watching tour. This is one of the best places in the world to spot humpback whales.
|32||Fri 21 Jun 2013||Honolulu, USA||7.00am||10.00pm|
| The birthplace of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the Unites States, Honolulu is the cultural, industrial, commercial, and governmental centre of Hawaii, with Waikiki Beach the epicentre of the tourist industry. It is a thriving world-class city, with nearly one million people in its metropolitan area. Oahu is the most popular of the Hawaiian Islands, and as the city is packed with sights, activities, and tourist attractions, it is easy to understand why there is so much to do in this southernmost major U.S. city. It is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
While most of us are aware that the beaches around Honolulu are exquisite, and include the world famous Waikiki Beach, as well as Kahaloa and Ulukou Beaches, which also offer superb swimming and plenty of activities for the whole family. Places that could well make up your short list are: the excellent Honolulu Zoo where animals wander around freely, and includes a petting zoo; the beautifully restored 19th century Iolani palace; and a free visit to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel that is a fascinating landmark of Waikki Beach.
Of great interest are shopping venues, such as the Aloha Tower Marketplace complex that consists of numerous shops featuring not only clothing, but also jewellery and art. The complex also offers a great choice of restaurants and expansive views of the harbour from the Aloha Tower observation deck. Another exciting venue is the mysterious and historical Chinatown. With its colourful combination of SE Asian cultures and numerous restaurants and medicine shops, it certainly is an amazing experience.
|33||Sat 22 Jun 2013||Nawiliwili, USA||8.00am||5.00pm|
| Nawiliwili is a large beach park and port on the SE of the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. One of the wettest spots on Earth, with an annual average rainfall of over 11 meters, it is located on the east side of Mount Wai'ale'ale. The high annual rainfall has eroded deep valleys in the central mountains resulting in canyons with many scenic waterfalls. Sport fishing is excellent in the harbour while great snorkel and dive opportunities are also available. It also provides access to Poipu Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii as well as the opportunity to experience a helicopter tour.
If you want to shop, have a great lunch and get some sunshine then simply walk over to Nearby Kalapaki Beach with its great little shopping malls – one right on the beach - and simply relax on the beach or participate in snorkelling, safe swimming, as well as surfing. The Wailua River boat trip to the Fern Grotto is always appreciated as there is great shopping at Coconut Plantation just beyond the river. The scenery is delightful, while the town of Hanalei is a wonderful little community with eclectic boutiques, shops and small wonderfully rustic restaurants.
Many regard the helicopter tour of Mt. Waialeale, Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast as awesome, a ‘must-do’ and something that will be remembered forever. The helicopters will take you up the canyon, to the Alakai Swamp, by numerous waterfalls, into the main canyon walls and much, much more. You may also get to land at the amazing island of Niihau, a small island of some 250 full blooded Hawaiians, and absorb their natural way of life and culture.
|34||Sun 23 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|35||Mon 24 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|36||Tue 25 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|37||Wed 26 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|38||Thu 27 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|39||Fri 28 Jun 2013||Papeete, French Polynesia||8.00am||5.00pm|
| The city of Papeete is the capital of Tahiti, the largest of the French Polynesian Islands. With its pleasant warm tropical climate, city-lovers will enjoy Papeete's chic shops, specialist stores and boutiques, together with the lively mix of French, Polynesian, and Chinese cultures. Shop around for the best hire car deal, and enjoy driving along the broad avenue by the famous waterfront, and then venture forth along the four-lane express way that links the city with the trendy suburban districts of Punaauia and Paea on the west coast. Its suburbs creep up the mountains overlooking the city and sprawl for miles along the coast in both directions.
There are also bus, mini-van and catamaran tours available. Take the time to visit some of the well known attractions such as the Robert WAN Pearl Museum, with its beautiful but detailed and fascinating exhibits, that is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to pearls. Eating at the Roulottes should be a priority. The roulottes are a series of caravans, cooking and serving a range of local dishes on the spot, which makes for a relaxing, safe and friendly, experience. Other interesting sights include: Bougainville Park, the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Papeete, the presidential Palace and the Town Hall to name but a few.
All beaches are technically public property, but getting to them is often difficult. However activities include all the water sports, as the marine life is exquisite, with the hugely popular humpback whale topping the list. Enjoy the great restaurant options, museums, and the numerous arts and crafts galleries and shops, but do not forget the daily Municipal Markets. You could even go outside the city limits and visit delightful botanical gardens and a Lagoonarium. Above all you will thoroughly enjoy your visit to the Island of Love, the island of legends.
|40||Sat 29 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|41||Sun 30 Jun 2013||At Sea|
|42||Mon 1 Jul 2013||Pago Pago, American Samoa||9.00am||6.00pm|
| Pago Pago Bay (pronounced "Pango Pango") situated on the island of Tutuila is the capital of American Samoa, a chain of seven South Pacific isles about 4,000 km south of Hawaii. Due to a massive seaward wall of a volcano collapsing aeons ago, and the sea pouring in, this dramatic harbor is hemmed in by towering mountains including Mt.Matafao and the impressive Mt.Alava which form part of the National Park. Both mountains have trails leading to their summits and offer spectacular views. Pago Pago is more village than city and the town is dominated by looming Mt. Pioa, whose summit draws moisture-bearing clouds, earning it the nickname of The Rainmaker. Subsequently, Tutuila is a vision of deep, verdant green. Many visitors explore the ancient volcanoes and thriving coral atolls, while others tour the town to get a taste of village life.
While best known for its huge tuna canning factories, tourism is becoming an important industry. Food served at the local restaurants, cultural entertainment, the Vaipito Stream, and the Haydon Museum with its fine collection of ancient Samoan artefacts that recount the history of Samoa as well as some fine art exhibits, are things not to be missed. The scenic drive around the harbour passes several small private beaches and islets, ideal for swimming and snorkelling in the warm tropical waters. The area includes a number of villages, among them Fagatogo, the legislative and judicial area, and Utulei, the executive area. Also worth visiting is Government House that was originally the Headquarters of the U.S. Naval Chief during World War II and is now the home of the Territorial Governor of American Samoa.
Other possibilities include: the American Samoa National Park with its breathtaking views, exploring the Lower Sauma Ridge, or taking a Tradewinds day tour of the island. The waters off the island abound with marine life. Southern humpback whales winter here between August and November, and porpoises and sperm whales visit regularly. Then there are the various species of marine turtles that call these waters home. Be sure to stay on deck as your ship departs, as the sealife you are likely to see may well be the most fitting farewell to this beautiful yet remote destination.
|43||Tue 2 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|44||Wed 3 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|45||Thu 4 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|46||Fri 5 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|47||Sat 6 Jul 2013||Auckland, New Zealand||7.00am||8.00pm|
| Auckland, set on 52 dormant volcanic cones and known as the ‘City of Sails’, is New Zealand's biggest city and has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Situated on a narrow isthmus, it is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Places to be visited in the city include not only the central business district and the inner city park also known as the Domain, but also the picturesque suburb of Ponsonby, with its colonial era homes. Travel to the summit of Mt Victoria with stunning panoramic views of Auckland City, and then visit Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hop On Hop Off buses for the city depart from Queens Wharf cruise terminal. Daily departures from Viaduct Harbour of the Whale and Dolphin Safari offer a guaranteed viewing of dolphins or whales as well as other captivating animals on every trip. If more adventurous take an hour and a half Auckland Bridge Climb, go hot air ballooning, or participate in bungy-jumping that operates daily and is available to anyone aged 10 years or over. Also on offer are Canyoning Adventures at various levels of difficulty with no experience required. With tours catering for all kinds of travellers, you will thoroughly enjoy your visit.
Wherever you are in Auckland you're never far from breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, invigorating walks, outstanding food - including the 'Pacific Rim' cuisine that has perfected the fusing of Pacific and Asian flavours - and award-winning wine. Enjoy great shopping at the home of top fashion designers in the city's heart, or visit the markets that are a magnet for bargain hunters. Places to visit include the Museum, Zoo, and the Botanic Gardens.
|48||Sun 7 Jul 2013||Bay of Islands, New Zealand||7.00am||4.00pm|
| The Bay of Islands - the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand - is an area in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km NW of Whangarei it is close to the northern tip of the country. The bay is the busiest, yet quietest place you'll ever come to. It lies in a subtropical wonderland with an average summer temperature of 24 deg., and has the bluest skies in the world. (That's official!) This beautiful collection of 144 islands provides plenty of natural and historical places of interest such as the stunning site at Paihia, where the Waitangi Treaty Treaty can be examined. Attractions include the historic Treaty House, a giant flagstaff, a unique fully carved Maori meeting house, and the world's largest single-hulled canoe.
Also on offer are superb golden sand beaches that are safe for swimming and sun bathing, as well as sailing, boogie boarding on the sand dunes, visiting glow-worm caves and mountain biking. Visit the famous Hole in the Rock, the thundering Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri with its farms and wineries, and a ferry ride away, the elegant township of Russell where not only great seafood right on the waterfront is a must, historians will delight in soaking all the missionary history of the area.
Scuba dive or snorkel at any of the fine 100 dive sites including the renowned Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, which suitably forms a sanctuary for a host of reef fish. Game fishing is superb, and bird enthusiasts will enjoy watching the Blue Penguins, Gannets, Grey Warblers and the endangered Dotterel. Above all enjoy swimming with the dolphins, or simply watch the fun and marvel at the whales surfacing far out amongst the islands.
|49||Mon 8 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|50||Tue 9 Jul 2013||At Sea|
|51||Wed 10 Jul 2013||Sydney, Australia||7.00am|
| Cruise ships berthed at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) access sweeping views of the harbour, Opera House, CBD, Circular Quay ferry terminal, and Sydney Harbour Bridge – all within a few minutes’ walk. The OPT is currently undergoing a major expansion to berth vessels with 5000+ passengers. The new White Bay Cruise Terminal, for mid-sized vessels that can pass under the Bridge, docks two cruise ships. Facilities at both terminals are efficient, though White Bay is 30 minutes’ drive by taxi or shuttle bus to the CBD and Central Station. Long term car parking is not too far away from each terminal. During the crowded summer season cruise ships occasionally tender passengers from Athol Buoy and Point Piper Buoy. QM2 has docked at Garden Island Naval Base.
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is Australia's first and largest city. Astride the magnificent Sydney Harbour, it has come a long way from its convict beginnings in 1788, but still exudes a rough and colonial energy. Soak up Sydney’s gorgeous harbour on a wide range of vessels including yachts, tall ships, catamarans, or even kayaks. If adventurous try a jet boat ride, or perhaps decide that there's no better way to see the sights than on a Sydney Explorer Hop-on Hop-off Harbour Cruise. Take surfing lessons at Manly and Bondi Beaches. On the harbour’s north shore are Taronga Zoo and the Sydney Aquarium, and on a tiny island in the middle of the harbour tour historic Fort Denison.
Adjacent to the OPT investigate The Rocks precinct with its images of a colourful convict past. Day options include a climb to the top of the ‘Coathanger’, tour of the Opera House, dining at the Skywalk of Sydney Tower, strolling in Hyde Park, dining at an ethnic restaurant, Duty-Free shopping, and striking up a conversation with friendly locals. One-day coach tours visit the highlights of Sydney, Hunter Valley wine region, and the spectacular Blue Mountains. Take a scenic flight over the Harbour and Pacific surfing coastline. For lovers of sport, whale-watching, sky diving, and hot air ballooning are also on offer.
Until October 2015 Sun Princess cruises depart from Brisbane and Sydney. Itineraries of 10 to 37 nights visit a large range of Pacific islands, PNG, New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef. In late October 2015 Sun Princess repositions to Fremantle. Some exciting port-intensive tours head for SE Asia, and in January 2016 plan ahead for a circle of the Indian Ocean. Princess Cruises organises on-shore tours that can be booked before sailing or during the cruise. For some voyages pre- and post-cruises tours are available to extend your stay in major ports.
There are six main categories of staterooms - Suites with balcony, Mini-Suites with balcony, Balcony, Oceanview Deluxe, Oceanview, and Interior – and 28 grades, which give a broad choice according to guests’ needs of space and price. All cabins have pleasing décor and reasonable storage space, satellite TV, refrigerator, and 24-hour room service. Fresh fruit (by request), evening bed turn-down, bathroom lotions, and bathrobes (by request) come with every stateroom. Standard cabins are well-designed and functional. Some cabins accommodate a third and even a fourth person. Generally twin beds can be made up into a queen-size bed. Bedding is top quality. There are no interconnecting or single cabins. There are many wheelchair-accessible cabins, and guests with disabilities are well catered for. An in-cabin dining menu is available 24-hours.
Food and Dining
There are two main dining rooms (no Anytime Dining), and dinner is served in two set sittings in each dining room with the same waitstaff and assigned tables and tablemates. Dress code is smart casual, and on cruises longer than three days dress for a formal night for every week of sailing. Breakfast and lunch are provided in an open seating arrangement. (Of course a continental breakfast can be delivered to your stateroom, and there is a complimentary stateroom menu.) One alternative eating venue is Stirling Steakhouse (extra charge, reservations) for really good steak and barbecued chicken. Another is the new Kai Sushi (extra charge) with food freshly prepared by Japanese chefs. New to the atrium is the very popular International Café. Chocolate Journeys is a recent fleet innovation. Passengers booked in cabins with balconies can order several special, romantic meals to be served restaurant-style on the verandah.
In the evening having two show lounges (both theatre and cabaret style) is a great way to give passengers more entertainment choices. During her 2010 refurbishment additions included a Movies Under the Stars screen in the main pool area for new movie releases, sporting events and concert videos. Adults have their own private sunbathing area, the Sanctuary, at the front of the ship. Add seven bars and lounges, nightclub and dance floors, and the casino, to the list of evening options. Alternatively, just stroll around and shop duty-free, or for a quiet time retire to the Library/Card Room or Internet Café. Weddings are officiated by the Captain.
What's onboard? ▼
- Defence Force (active and ex-serving) onboard credit program (ADF & NZDF)
- AUD in/out Australia
- REST & RELAXATION
- Piazza-style Atrium
- Shops duty free
- COMPLIMENTARY DINING
- Main dining room
- Traditional Dining
- 24-h Room Service, Menu complimentary
- Formal dining (1/week)
- COVER CHARGE DINING
- Ultimate Balcony Dining
- Stirling Steakhouse
- Kai Sushi (Japanese)
- CASUAL DINING
- Horizon Court
- International Café
- Pizzeria (poolside)
- Burger & Hot Dog Grill (poolside)
- Ice Cream Bar
- English Pub Lunch
- Chocolate Journeys (new)
- Internet café
- Soda, coffee packages
- Afternoon tea; Cookies & milk in Piazza
- Special diet requests (order ahead)
- Show lounges (2)
- Lounges, bars, nightclub, disco, dance floors
- Movies Under the Stars
- Onboard games, parties, tours
- ScholarShip@Sea enrichment courses
- Library, writing room
- Art, photo, video gallery
- Celebration packages
- Weddings (enquire)
- Pools (3)
- Whirlpools Spas (5)
- The Sanctuary adult oasis (pay)
- Fitness Centre, jogging track, Zumba classes
- Lotus Spa & Fitness
- Japanese bath
- Ultimate Ship Tour (pay)
- Sports court & table games
- UNDER 18
- Youth Remix Center (3-12y)
- Teen Lounge (13-17y)
- Kids-only Dinners
- Pelicans (3-7 y centre)
- Shockwaves (8-12 y centre)
- Group kidsitting (3-12 y, pay)
- Port Days activities
- Children with special needs
- Medical centre (pay private rate, no Medicare)
- No tipping, bar charges ex Australia
- ATM on board (costly)
- Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
- Mobile phone at sea (pay provider)
- Laundromats self-serve
- 220, 110 V cabin power
- Wheelchair cabins, service animals
- No wheelchair access to The Sanctuary
- Daily newsletter
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Australia: Gratuities for Sun and Dawn Princess departures, and Sea Princess departing and returning to Australia.
- All main meals on-board
- Coffee, tea & milk 24 hrs
- Oplen/anytime dining (not in Australia)
- Traditional/set time & multi-venue dining
- Cocktail or champagne reception
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Complimentary mini-bar setup (Suites)
- Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
- Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
- Activities - organised & individual
- Specialty lectures, workshops, classes & programs
- Bridge director on select cruises
- Kids clubs & teen programs (3-17 yrs most ships)
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Onboard newsletter
- Port maps and/or guide books
- Destination seminars and/or lectures
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Alternate specialty dining venues
- Room service menu items (unless specified)
- Casino gaming, bar expenses
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Outside Australia: Service charge USD 11.50 (suites USD 12) pp/night all ages. Adjust or remove on board.
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Outside Australia Service charge: bar and wine 15%
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Laundry services (Complimentary for Suites & Elite Capltain's Circle
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
- Childcare night services (3-12 yrs, 10pm-1am)
"The Sun Princess Cruise was fantastic - I will certainly contact you regarding all future travel arrangements. Once again thank you for everything your attention to detail was much appreciated."
Jan C from Melbourne
"Natasha made the usually arduous and stressful booking process enjoyable, fun and pleasurable. Her attention to detail was amazing."
Suzie from NSW
"Terri remembered every member of our party from last year's Diamond Princess. She goes out of her way to say hello & is always ready with helpful advice."
Margaret from NSW