Wave Season is to cruising what the Earlybird booking window is to Europe flights. It is simply the best time to book your dream voyage, with many cruise lines releasing a range of special offers.
Nothing to do with rough seas, Wave Season marks the period from September to April when cruise lines relocate their ships from the Mediterranean or Caribbean to local Australian waters.
They come to take advantage of the great weather and high cruise demand, but a larger number of ships creates greater competition, so it is also the time when cruise lines drop their best special offers, ranging from price reductions and cabin upgrades to onboard credit, included drinks packages and more.
While previously these exciting cruise promotions were not released until half way through the season, they are now appearing earlier each year. And best of all, Wave Season has spread to encompass other destinations as well, which means it’s also a great time to take advantage of offers on long-haul cruises around the globe.
If you have your heart set on that perfect cruise, this makes it the ideal time to book. Your Travel Associates advisor can help you navigate the many offers available to find the one that’s right for you. So take advantage of the hype and you’ll be sailing off on that dream cruise sooner than you think.
The boutique Azamara offers three smaller, more intimate vessels of less than 700 passengers each. Azamara is great for port visits that allow more time and exploration options everywhere they stop – and this is often at ports not visited by the larger ships. Coupled with their all-inclusive fares, Azamara is a popular choice for those wanting to really see and experience ports in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Demand is high for these limited-capacity ships, so always get in early for the prize sailings. Azamara now visits Australia more frequently, lingering to explore our coastal wonders on their way to somewhere else. So it’s no longer such a rare occasion when an Azamara ship spends an extended period in our waters like Azamara Pursuit will do in early 2021. But you’ll still need to get in early.
One firm favourite with Australian cruisers is Celebrity Solstice which transits the Pacific Ocean twice every year taking in Hawaii and Polynesia along the way. Celebrity Solstice has really struck a chord with Australian cruise fans with its upmarket feel and elegant decor, which were the subject of a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2016, the year the Solstice became the highest-rated cruise ship in Australia according to travel agents. An insider tip is to cruise to South America with Celebrity where you can add on the amazing Galapagos with
Celebrity’s brand new expedition ship, Celebrity Flora.
Everyone loves Cunard. This iconic global cruise line is rich in maritime history and enjoys a special place in the hearts of Australians. Despite the fact that the Queen Mary 2 is the largest true ocean liner ever built, you must get in quickly to snag the best cabins as this ship always sells out early. You can often secure short sectors on her world cruise including the ever-popular Sydney to Cape Town via Fremantle. If you miss out on the Queen Mary 2, the sumptuous Queen Elizabeth will spend New Year’s Eve in Auckland where they put on a show to rival Sydney.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Holland America Line (HAL) is another cruise line with a superior reputation, especially for grownup cruisers who enjoy HAL’s acclaimed dining and mature onboard atmosphere. HAL is well known as the premier cruise line in Alaska, a destination that has really found appeal with Australians. Even with several ships in Alaska, demand is high for the five-month season with so many Americans also loving the icy fjords, glaciers and multitude of shore options. If you want to avoid the inevitable crowds, choose either May or September.
Featuring a fleet of intimate and luxurious ships, Oceania Cruises offers an unparalleled experience renowned for destination-rich itineraries spanning the globe and The Finest Cuisine at Sea™. The award-winning cruise line earned this title due to its commitment to selecting only the best ingredients and the most talented chefs from around the globe. In galleys evoking those in Michelin-starred restaurants, Oceania Cruises’ gifted chefs create culinary masterpieces for its speciality restaurants, which guests can dine in at no additional charge. The 684 and 1,250-guest vessels can dock at many ports and hidden gems that are not accessible to larger ships, allowing you to travel the world the way you’ve always dreamed.
It’s the easiest way to holiday, and only Princess has it. It all begins with a wearable device, an OceanMedallion – free for all guests – that unlocks a world of possibilities. Think easier everything: boarding, streaming content, having drinks delivered, finding companions on board. This is a holiday you don’t need a holiday from and it’s available on all Princess Cruises MedallionClass ships. Keep up to date on your ship’s itinerary, open your stateroom door automatically, navigate your ship easily, order drinks, snacks and services and locate your family and friends, all through the device and supporting
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
The Regent Experience has long been absolute in its inclusiveness, providing guests with the most enriching and luxurious journey on the seven seas – An Unrivalled Experience™. With all-suite accommodation, some of the largest private balconies at sea, and an enviable staff-to-guest ratio, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers an incomparable level of personal service. Every luxury is included, from free unlimited speciality dining and premium beverages, to free Wi-Fi and pre-paid gratuities. As the only cruise line to offer free unlimited shore excursions, you can explore beautiful places every day to your heart's content.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Royal Caribbean shook up the Australian cruise scene when the mighty Ovation of the Seas homeported here every season since new in 2016. The massive, 4000-plus passenger ship introduced some incredible first-at-sea experiences including the Ripcord by iFLY skydiving experience, the 90m high NorthStar glass viewing pod, as well as the largest indoor sports complex with bumper cars and an ice-skating rink. Ovation makes her way to Australia every year via the South Pacific, so there is the reposition to consider if you like longer (3-week) stretches at sea. Being a larger ship, availability is better, but still get in early for the best cabins, especially for her in-demand NZ and Polynesia departures.
Seabourn pioneered ultra-luxury cruising by introducing intimate ships, luxurious oceanfront all-suite accommodations, and the highest standards of intuitive service and dining at sea. Today those elements remain central to the 'Seabourn experience', enhanced by exciting innovations and amenities that have evolved on board their elegant and distinctly modern fleet. Seabourn has also recently partnered with Dr Weil to create a first-ever at sea Mindful Living Program that offers guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Guests who participate in the Program will have their cruise experiences further enhanced by a holistic mind and body perspective that improves self-awareness and inspires a sense of wonder.
For almost 25 years, Silversea has been taking you closer to the true essence of the world’s beauty: icy lands, deserts, jungles, legendary cities and fascinating cultures. Their small luxury ships are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery while indulging mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable. All accommodations are spacious, ocean-view suites that include butler service, food and alcoholic beverages, WiFi and gratuities, and most include private verandas. Silversea voyages and cruise expeditions sail to over 1,000 destinations on all seven continents, more than any other cruise line.
All of Viking's award-winning ships boast a private veranda in every stateroom, a choice of restaurants offering a variety of fine dining options, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, panoramic Explorers’ Lounge, thoughtfully curated book collections throughout the ship and more –all designed in understated elegance. But if you are looking to relax and recharge after a full day of exploring your new destination, your Viking ocean ship is the perfect place to do just that. The tranquil LivNordic Spa allows you to enjoy a traditional Nordic bathing ritual – a combination of a rejuvenating sauna, a dip in the cold pool and a few minutes in the refreshing snow grotto, where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling – then recline in a heated chaise lounge chair – access is complimentary.