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29 Apr 2012
North Australia Explorer Cruise
Sun Princess - 17 nights ex Fremantle, Australia
Get away on the Sun Princess enjoying 17 relaxing nights on the North Australia Explorer Cruise to Australia. The voyage starts out from Fremantle and calls into 10 ports in 2 countries before returning to Sydney. Your 4 star voyage from Princess Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
BONUS up to $150 onboard cabin credit for this cruise!
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Sun 29 Apr 2012||Fremantle, Australia||5.00pm|
| All cruise ships berth at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay, in the heart of Fremantle’s bustling commercial port. Fremantle is a day-out destination with historic buildings, eateries, tourist attractions and ferries up the Swan River to the City, and off-shore to Rottnest Island. Cars can set-down passengers and find long-term parking nearby. The distance to Perth’s CBD is 30 minutes, and to the airport 40 minutes. Trains, buses and taxis are all handy. In addition to the regular round-the-world cruise vessels, a number of ships are homebased in Fremantle, meaning they have a complete passenger transfer when they call.
Fremantle, situated at the mouth of the Swan River on Australia's SW coast, is the port for the State capital Perth. 'Freo' has retained its authenticity and multiculturalism. It boasts the best preserved example of a 19th century port streetscape in the world with its world-famous heritage buildings, many built from sandstone with intricate ornate facades, and a fascinating maritime and convict history. Essential places to visit include the Round House – the earliest convict jail, Fremantle Prison – open to the public, and the Maritime Museum with its spectacular colonial architecture.
Another 'must', is a visit to the delightful Fremantle Markets, a precinct providing local arts, crafts, jewellery, specialty foods, and dining halls. The area also hosts buskers and other street performers. Fremantle offers seven-day shopping, a fantastic array of food, and the welcoming Cappuccino Strip, all of which adds up to fun and entertainment for all ages. It is truly an elegant and energetic city!
|2||Mon 30 Apr 2012||Geraldton, Australia||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Geraldton, located about 450 km north of Perth, boasts a beautiful coastline overlooking the Indian Ocean and rolling hills and breakaway ranges inland. The Chapman and Greenough Rivers frame the city to the north and south. This superb positioning, year-round sunny climate, combined with the friendly feel of a modern country town, makes for an enjoyable visit. A highlight is to take a tour on a small plane to the spectacular Abrolhos Islands and even Monkey Mia. Just 30 km north of the city tour the beautifully restored Oakabella Homestead built in 1860 with its lovely collection of antiques and olden day treasures that provide a very clear insight into its history.
While the most popular past time of locals is surfing, one can truly enjoy the magnificent wild flowers that grow profusely both within the city and the hinterland, savour glorious food, or enjoy some retail therapy. Familiarise yourself with the local heritage and culture by having an internal viewing of the Geraldton Cathedral, a master piece of art deco architecture, as well as visiting the HMAS memorial overlooking the city. The Geraldton Regional Museum includes informative displays of the early Dutch explorers and their ship wrecks, as well as displays and activities designed for children.
Some tour the Lobster factory, while art lovers visit the Latitude Gallery. The Old Gaol Museum & Craft Centre is an interesting place to learn about life in prisons in early Australian history. Take a drive through the Chapman Valley where the wineries are well worth visiting, or explore the Greenough area to the south.
|3||Tue 1 May 2012||At Sea|
|4||Wed 2 May 2012||At Sea|
|5||Thu 3 May 2012||Lembar, Indonesia||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Lembar is a port in Tawun Harbour on the island of Lombok located 100 km E of Bali in Indonesia. The island has been promoted as "an unspoiled Bali" for quite some time, with beautiful beaches and the large, looming volcano of Mount Rinjani. At the local markets you can buy Lombok souvenirs of carvings and even observe the artisans at work. If you do visit Banyu Mulek, you will see their well-known pottery being made in open fires, and of course be given the opportunity to buy some. Just south of the port you can rent a motorised boat for a trip along Gili Nanggu Beach, which provides a picture of the life-style on the island, with the pleasant bungalows built on pillars.
You may also be able to visit the resort island of Gili Nanggu just 20 minutes by outrigger offshore, which offers idyllic conditions for snorkelling amongst pretty coral formations and many colourful fish, swimming, or just relaxing on the island's white sandy beach. Traditional fishing boats known as perahu with their twin outriggers and floating fishing houses are features of the surrounding waters. Lembar certainly provides a delightful, restful, but fascinating stop-over. The island's overall infrastructure and quality of attractions are beginning to reflect its up-and-coming popularity.
|6||Fri 4 May 2012||At Sea|
|7||Sat 5 May 2012||Broome, Australia||9.30am||10.00pm|
| Broome, situated on a peninsula in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is known as the ‘pearl of the north’ due to its being the home of the South Sea pearls, among the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. In the 1800s Broome attracted pearl divers from Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines, resulting in the delightful multicultural town it is today. Visitors can witness first-hand how Broome pearls are cultured on a cruise to a local pearl farm, and hear the romantic stories of the original pearl luggers. Visit the amazing pearl showrooms of Chinatown. Given its historical background, a visit to the Japanese Shinto Cemetery, the resting place of over 900 pearl divers, is 'a must'. Also of interest is the Historical Museum, which though small, is packed with interesting information and artefacts from the booming pearling times.
Don’t miss the famous historical Cable Beach, undoubtedly one of the world's most stunning beaches: pure white sand bordering a brilliant blue ocean, and just the place for lazy days and brilliant sunset camel rides. Amazingly, on certain days from March to October, the most awe-inspiring illusion known as the Staircase to the Moon occurs. The rising full moon reflects off the exposed mudflats at low tide, creating a beautiful vision of stairs reaching upwards to the moon.
Of international importance is the Broome Bird Observatory that studies the needs of the millions of shorebirds which migrate seasonally to the local beaches. Broome is also home to Sun Pictures, the oldest operating outdoor cinema in the world. Visit art galleries and admire the works of some of the Kimberley's celebrated Aboriginal artists. Then there’s the brilliant Horizontal Falls that are well worth the cost - as a plane trip is involved - and the experience will never be forgotten.
|8||Sun 6 May 2012||Kimberley, Australia||4.00pm||8.00pm|
| The Kimberley is a region located in the northern part of Western Australia, bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, and to the east by the Northern Territory. It is one of the world's last great wilderness areas, with fewer people per square kilometre than almost any other place on Earth. The coral atolls of the Rowley Shoals are famed for their almost untouched coral gardens and abundant marine life. Time permitting take a tour to the Horizontal Falls, considered one of the great natural wonders of the world.
The Kimberley was one of the earliest settled parts of Australia, with the first arrivals landing many thousands of years ago from the islands of what is now Indonesia. The Kimberley has two seasons, the Wet and the Dry. During the dry season the temperature is warm and comfortable. The wet season, from November to April, receives heavy short downpours in the late afternoon or evening, resulting in a pleasant change to the heat of the day. The wet season is also known for its cyclones.
People come here to immerse themselves in the awesome landscape - and to meet the locals who they've heard are friendly, unpretentious and share their history. A flourishing pearling industry operates around the Kimberley coast, and visiting one of these farms makes for a unique experience. Interestingly: one third of the world’s annual production of diamonds is mined at the Argyle and the Ellendale diamond mines; oil is extracted from the Blina oil field; and liquefied natural gas from offshore sources. The rugged ranges and coastline of the Kimberley present a delightful mix of seclusion and fascinating scenery.
|9||Mon 7 May 2012||At Sea|
|10||Tue 8 May 2012||Darwin, Australia||7.00am||2.00pm|
| The new Darwin cruise ship terminal, adjacent to Stokes Hill wharf waterfront area and convention centre, is only one kilometre from Darwin’s CBD. Modern amenities, hotels and parking are right there, alongside a mini-market with beautiful local productions – Aboriginal art and crafts, diamonds and opals, and eateries, all very distinctive of the Top End. Darwin is a home port for the small luxury vessels Coral Princess, Oceanic Discoverer, and Orion that explore the Kimberley coast to Broome. A score of cruise ship lines include Darwin in their itineraries for Australia, Indonesia, South-East Asia and World Cruises. The harbour, seven times the area of Sydney Harbour, and bounded by mangrove forest, offers great fishing, sunken ships and sea life.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Its tropical climate has two seasons, Wet and Dry. The hottest month is November, just before the onset of the monsoon season, locally known as 'Mango Madness' season. Originally a pioneer outpost, Darwin has been rebuilt twice. Air raids during World War II landed more bombs than on Pearl Harbour. Then came the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974 that flattened 70% of the city. Visits to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the East Point Military Museum, the Aviation Heritage Centre, and the Myilly Point Historical Precinct, give one a truly fascinating understanding and 'feel' for the local history.
The lazy beaches, modern wave pool, buzzing markets, the orchids and traditional Aboriginal plants in the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, and numerous annual festivals make Darwin a cultural melting pot of exotic smells and flavours. Stroll around this vibrant, cosmopolitan, yet casual city, passing the occasional busker intoning the droning sound of a didgeridoo. Quite special. Truly a young city rich in history and cultural heritage.
|11||Wed 9 May 2012||At Sea|
|12||Thu 10 May 2012||At Sea|
|13||Fri 11 May 2012||Cairns, Australia||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Cairns, located on the warm waters of Trinity Bay, 400km from the northernmost part of the State, is the gateway to tropical north Queensland. Pacific Eden will homeport at Cairns from September to November 2016. Nearby are many attractions, including The Great Barrier Reef - 90 min. by boat - and the Daintree National Park, Cairns is a tourist magnet. The city itself has several theme parks for tourists, which offer an overview of its natural surroundings. These include: Rainforestation Nature Park, Tjaipukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, and one of the world's most beautiful rainforest experiences, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This is a gondola cableway over the rainforest canopy, between Cairns and Kuranda, offering unsurpassed views of steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls within the Barron Gorge National Park.
Whilst Cairns continues to develop and modernise, one can experience touches from its pioneering days at the Pioneer Cemetery and the Cairns City Library. The Cairns Historical Society Museum is cleverly put together to provide a walk back in time through the use of artefacts and information from indigenous and early settlers. It certainly is well worth visiting. Enjoy the tropical Palm trees, the shopping, watching the unique bird life feeding along the mudflats, and absorb the city's cosmopolitan, colourful, almost carnival atmosphere. Muddy’s Playground, set on the Esplanade with ocean views, is an amazing - and free - wonderland for children. Cairns Lagoon is also well known for topless sunbathing.
There are several parks, such as the Cairns Botanic Gardens, a tropical wonderland with a great diversity of lush tropical plants, which offer an oasis of calm. For those interested in day tours, the Green Island Day Trip from Cairns offers visitors a variety of activities such as glass-bottom boat tours, semi-submarine coral viewing tours, scuba diving, and snorkelling. The historic Kuranda Scenic Railway’s day trip not only offers spectacular views of Barron Falls, but also includes an onboard commentary during the train ride, as well as the opportunity to explore Kuranda Village and browse the famous Heritage Markets. If time permits, many take snorkelling tours that also offer scuba-diving lessons, meals and entertainment.
|14||Sat 12 May 2012||Airlie Beach, Australia||7.00am||6.00pm|
| Airlie Beach is a coastal town in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia. It is a major hub for daytrips to the Whitsunday islands, on the world famous Great Barrier Reef. So visit the islands. Hayman and North Molle are visible from Airlie and if you make it down to Shute Harbour then Daydream, South Molle and Long Islands are just 15 minutes away by ferry. Airlie Beach township itself is a delightful tourist destination. As the sea is inhabited by marine stingers from November to May, the town has its own artificial lagoon, 200m by 50m, with a bridge and delightful surrounds. Life guards oversee the lagoon day and night.
There are several high quality tours that visit Whitehaven Beach and Hook Island, which have some beautiful coral viewing and abundant fish life. If you have the time and enjoy a hike, take a car trip to Cedar Falls – it is well worth exploring. Quad-biking and horse-riding are other options. Enjoy the great variety of restaurants, both budget and more expensive, and on Saturday morning along the waterfront visit the delightful market that boasts a range of locally produced foods and souvenirs.
Also popular is kayaking over fringing coral reefs and exploring deserted tropical islands that provide the opportunity to see giant sea turtles, dolphins, and soaring sea eagles. For those who prefer something less physical, there’s a wide variety of options from which to choose. View live coral from a glass-bottom boat or a semi-submersible, and then take a relaxed stroll through the under-water viewing chambers.
|15||Sun 13 May 2012||At Sea|
|16||Mon 14 May 2012||Brisbane, Australia||8.00am||6.00pm|
| Portside Wharf Cruise Terminal at Hamilton, up-river and 6 km from the CBD, is accessed by ships that clear the twin Gateway Bridges. Pacific Dawn sails year-round from here to the South Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, and PNG, and in 2014 she will be joined by Pacific Jewel and Sea Princess. Larger vessels berth at the Port of Brisbane where the river enters Moreton Bay, 20 km from the CBD. In early 2014 Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, P&O’s Aurora, and Dawn Princess depart from here on World Cruises to the UK, with sectors to Asia, the Middle East, Mediterranean and South Africa. The semi-tropical city of Brisbane, situated on the Brisbane River, is the capital of the Sunshine State.
A day’s trip away are the Sunshine and Gold Coasts with their beautiful hinterlands, and the famous Australia Zoo. In the CBD take a free bus around past heritage landmarks, such as the historic Windmill and the Old Commissariat Store, some built by convicts in 1828. Do visit the newly-restored City Hall. Across the river from the CBD is South Bank, with its sandy beach and eateries, Gallery of Modern Art, Museum & Science Centre, Piazza and ferry terminal. Take a CityCat upstream to view river-side parklands, the University of Queensland, and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (a world top-ten zoo). Feed and handle the animals, home to koalas, kangaroos, Australian birds, Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes and reptiles. Be photographed cuddling a koala or a python. Climb the Story Bridge at dusk, it’s fantastic.
Take a bus to Mount Coot-tha and take in a 300 degree view of the entire city, while visiting the interesting cafes. The Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a great vantage point to see the Brisbane River and city buildings, while those wanting ‘action’ can go rock climbing and abseiling with the Riverlife Adventure Centre. Meet with the local aboriginal tribe, Mirrabooka, and share in rich Aboriginal culture presented by the Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers in the natural bushland of Kangaroo Point.
|17||Tue 15 May 2012||At Sea|
|18||Wed 16 May 2012||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.
Leaving Japanese waters in October 2015, Sun Princess departs for Sydney. The fare is very low, see some of Vietnam, and enjoy your own peaceful sea days. From Sydney visit New Zealand or Pacific islands. A most popular round-trip Cherry Blossom Cruise of 42 nights leaves Sydney late April 2015. Until October 2015 Sun Princess sails from Sydney to PNG, the Great Barrier Reef, and Pacific islands. Late in 2015 the ship 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 seatings 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 stateroom menu.) The alternative eating venue is Stirling Steakhouse (extra charge, reservations) for really good steak and barbecued chicken. Passengers booked in cabins with balconies can order several special, romantic meals to be served restaurant-style on the verandah - Ultimate Balcony Dining. Order special dietary requests before sailing.
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)
- Piazza-style Atrium
- Shops duty free (4)
- Main dining rooms (2)
- Traditional Dining
- Anytime Dining (outside Australia)
- 24-h room service & menu
- Special dietary requests
- Formal dining nights
- Ultimate Balcony Dining
- The Chef’s Table
- Steakhouse & seafood
- Buffet, Pizzeria
- Internet café
- Patisserie, Wine bar
- Ice cream sundae bar
- Drink & coffee packages
- Afternoon tea
- Show lounges (2)
- Lounges, bars, nightclub, disco (7)
- Movies Under the Stars
- Onboard games, parties, tours
- ScholarShip@Sea courses
- Art auctions
- Celebration packages
- Pools (4)
- Whirlpools (5)
- The Sanctuary adult oasis
- Fitness Centre, jogging track
- The Lotus Spa, beauty salon
- Sports deck & table games
- Golf simulator
- UNDER 18
- Princess Pelicans (3-7 y)
- Shockwaves (8-12 y)
- Remix (13-17 y)
- Weddings (selected itineraries)
- Medical centre
- No tipping, bar service charges ex Australia
- ATM on board
- Internet, phone, Wi-Fi (pay)
- 220V AC (Australia)
- Mobile phone reception
- Wheelchair access
- 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 trip was great. We appreciate all your arrangements which were excellent. Our cabin allocation was terrific, with an adjoining cabin for our kids, and we enjoyed the cake that you kindly requested for our daughter on her birthday."
Jenny S from Sydney
"Ultimately it came down to attitude and the service from you was genuinely impressive so I rewarded that with my business. Price is very important but that good old thing called Service is hard to find these days."
William H from Melbourne
"We weren't really sure about which cabin was right for us, your advice turned out to be great. And thanks for organising all our flights and transport - so much easier than doing it ourselves!"
Bryan & Lara G from Brisbane