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Rob enjoyed 18 years of travel experience in New Zealand before making the warm weather move to Queensland. An avid traveller, he includes Canada and South Africa on his favourite destinations list, but loves looking after local cruise holidays too. When not cruising, Rob enjoys refereeing soccer and good wine (NZ of course)."Sea days when cruising are a great way to enjoy the ship and experience life onboard, so make sure you take advantage of them."
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6 Mar 2013
Circumnavigation Top End Cruise
Radiance of the Seas - 16 nights ex Sydney, Australia
Take a break on board the Radiance of the Seas experiencing 16 relaxing nights on this Circumnavigation Top End Cruise to Australia. The voyage starts out from Sydney and calls into 8 ports in 2 countries before returning to Fremantle. Your 4 star cruise from Royal Caribbean Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Wed 6 Mar 2013||Sydney, Australia||6.30pm|
| 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.
|2||Thu 7 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|3||Fri 8 Mar 2013||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.
|4||Sat 9 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|5||Sun 10 Mar 2013||Airlie Beach, Australia||7.00am||5.00pm|
| 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.
|6||Mon 11 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|7||Tue 12 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|8||Wed 13 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|9||Thu 14 Mar 2013||Darwin, Australia||9.00am||10.00pm|
| 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 and Oceanic Discoverer 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.
|10||Fri 15 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|11||Sat 16 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|12||Sun 17 Mar 2013||Denpasar (Bali), Indonesia||7.00am||5.00pm|
| Bali is an Indonesian island located at the western-most of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces, with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority, and it is also the largest tourist destination in the country. Activities on offer include premium white water rafting, jungle trekking, river kayaking, mountain cycling and scuba diving. Visit the Elephant Safari Park & Lodge, where you can touch, feed and ride an elephant through the tropical jungle, or an ideal place for families is the Circus Waterpark Bali that allows for exciting rides or simply relaxing.
In the town of Denpasar you will be fascinated by the great range of shopping opportunities, including wooden carvings, paintings, silverware, batik cloth, and a range of other handicrafts. However assure yourself of the quality of the products and be sure to bargain politely. If possible listen to a gamelan orchestra, perhaps accompanying an hour-long Balinese costumed dance. Don't forget to see the famous Kuta Beach perhaps for a delightful swim followed by a massage or hair braiding opportunity. Nusa Dua, Tanah Lot, and the artists’ town of Ubud with its Monkey Forest – where you need to protect your belongings from the monkeys – are other great spots for tourists. (Be alert not be bitten by a dog or monkey carrying rabies.)
|13||Mon 18 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|14||Tue 19 Mar 2013||Port Hedland, Australia||9.00am||4.00pm|
| Located in the dry coastal sand plain of the Pilbara region in NW Australia, Port Hedland is the highest tonnage port in Australia. This deep natural anchorage, accommodating ships over 250,000 DWT, is the focal point of a rail network from four major iron ore deposits. A sight to see is a BHP Billiton train with 336 cars, 44,500 tonnes of iron ore, over 3 km long, with six to eight locomotives, pulling into town, especially as the town itself has a population of just 15,000. Visit the newly refurbished Port Hedland Visitor Centre, as local and regional tourism information, Wi-Fi, as well as locally made contemporary gifts and keepsakes, are available. Follow the award-winning Cultural and Heritage Trail and explore Port Hedland’s Indigenous and European history.
For an insight into what life was like many years ago visit the Dalgety House Museum, which although small has a great collection of artefacts. Other places of interest include: Don Rhodes Mining Museum, the Town Observation Tower, and the Cape Keraudren Nature Reserve. The town’s lifestyle is relaxed, reflecting its unique pioneering and indigenous history. Situated on the southern end of stark-white Eighty Mile Beach, it offers superb fishing in its azure waters and crabbing in the mangroves.
Tourist attractions also include the large salt hills south of town, Royal Flying Doctor Service base, walking trails, and impressive old buildings. The Port Hedland Detention Centre for asylum seekers is now a tourist and mine-worker accommodation facility, named Beachfront. If visiting in the summer months see the wonderful display of wildflowers, watch the turtle nesting at Eighty Mile Beach, and see millions of migratory birds on their annual journey from their Arctic breeding grounds.
|15||Wed 20 Mar 2013||At Sea|
|16||Thu 21 Mar 2013||Geraldton, Australia||10.00am||5.00pm|
| 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.
|17||Fri 22 Mar 2013||Fremantle, Australia||7.00am|
| 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!
Between October and April each year Radiance of the Seas sails out of Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and Tasmania. She circumnavigates Australia and New Zealand (and visits Bali) over 32 nights, departing February 2016. Between May and August each year Radiance of the Seas sails the Alaskan fjords over 7 nights, each way between Seward (port for Anchorage) and Vancouver. Each April and September Radiance crosses the Pacific via Hawaii, over about 28 nights, 16 of these being ‘sea days’. This is a family-friendly ship: babies (six to 17 months) and toddlers (18-36 months) have a dedicated nursery, so children can be left with trained professionals for US$8 per hour. Radiance of the Seas entered service in 2001 at 90,090 GT, was refurbished in 2011, and carries 2112 passengers.
Staterooms come in four main categories and 19 grades, with variations based on guests’ needs: Suite/Deluxe Staterooms, Balcony Staterooms, Outside Staterooms and Interior Staterooms. When selecting accommodation consider the view, the level of privacy, and location near to or far from activity areas. All staterooms come with private bathroom, vanity area, hair dryer, interactive TV and phone. Many cabins are family-friendly with up to four additional bunk beds, and interconnecting rooms. There are no single cabins, and many are wheelchair-accessible. In-cabin service and dining is available 24-hours.
Food and Dining
For the Main Dining Room, spread over two levels, select from three dining choices before cruising: fixed seating at the same table nightly, at either early or late sitting; open-seated My Time Dining (with pre-paid gratuities) at a flexible time; and early sitting My Family Time Dining that allows children aged 3 to 11 years to leave for their Adventure Ocean kids club. Menus feature healthy, vegetarian and kosher options. Special dietary needs can be catered for by giving advanced notice. Menus change daily throughout the cruise. Evening dress is casual or smart casual. Expect one to three formal evenings in the Main Dining Room during your cruise. Other complimentary eating options include buffet-style Windjammers Café, Park Café, and 24-hour room service.
A signature feature of RCI vessels is a Broadway-style production in the Main Theatre. A second entertainment centre is the Colony Club, with its music, dancing, comedy and cabaret shows. Try your hand at gaming in Casino Royale. Live music features around the pool, in the main dining room, and in many lounges, bars and specialty venues. There are always parties and parades to join. Alternatively, just stroll around and shop duty-free, or for a quiet time retire to the Library/Card Room or Internet Café.
What's onboard? ▼
- Staterooms, room service
- Shops, Souvenirs
- Dining & Café venues (11)
- My Family Time Dining
- Dining packages
- Mystery Dinner Theatre
- Chef’s Table (14 guests)
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
- Bars, clubs, lounges (16)
- Broadway Production
- Comedy, jazz, karaoke
- Cinema room
- Casino Royale
- Swimming pools (2)
- Whirlpools (3)
- Solarium adult retreat
- Vitality Spa & Fitness
- Basketball court
- Billiards, pool tables
- Jogging track
- Sports courts
- Rock-climbing walls
- Golf simulator
- Mini-golf course
- Games, contests, dancing
- Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
- Enrichment lectures
- Library/Card room
- Conference Centre
- Wedding packages, Chapel
- UNDER 18
- Youth Program, lounge
- Children's pool & slide
- Babies & Tots Nursery
- Babies & Tots activities
- Laundry, drycleaning (pay)
- Mobile phone reception
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Medical centre
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
- All main meals on-board
- Coffee, tea, iced water, lemonade 24 hrs
- Anytime or fixed sittings, & multi-venue dining
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
- Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
- Activities - organised & individual
- Bridge director on select cruises
- Infant crèche, kids clubs & teen programs
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Special needs requests & service animals allowed
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Alternate specialty dining venues
- Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks
- Casino gaming, bar expenses
- Certain entertainment, fitness classes
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Service charge: A$ 11.90/US$ 12) per guest (A$ 14.20/US$ 14.25 for suite guests) pp/night is included in pre-paid fare. Or, service charges can be paid onboard. For all ages. Modify for inadequate service.
- Service charge 15% automatically added to bar, mini-bar, spa & salon services.
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
- Babysitting, individual or in groups (from 1 yr)
"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 really enjoyed ourselves on the Pacific Dawn. You can be assured that your name has already been passed on to friends - your courtesy and professionalism has been most appreciated."
Ian R from Sydney
"We were more than satisfied with the service we received from your agency everything was organized well. The P&O cruise itself was absolutely wonderful and thank you for your service and support."
Keith & Moira from Newcastle
Other Ships ▼
- Adventure of the Seas
- Allure of the Seas
- Anthem of the Seas
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Enchantment of the Seas
- Explorer of the Seas
- Freedom of the Seas
- Grandeur of the Seas
- Independence of the Seas
- Jewel of the Seas
- Legend of the Seas
- Liberty of the Seas
- Majesty of the Seas
- Mariner of the Seas
- Navigator of the Seas
- Oasis of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
- Rhapsody of the Seas
- Serenade of the Seas
- Splendour of the Seas
- Vision of the Seas
- Voyager of the Seas