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Grand Australia & New Zealand Voyage/Volendam
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Volendam

Grand Australia & New Zealand Voyage - 58 night cruise



Cruise only from €11,162

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Highlights

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Elegant and spacious, Volendam takes her décor cues from the garden. Her grand public spaces are graced with floral fabrics and tapestries, as well as huge vases of fresh floral arrangements. While on board, explore the wonders of nature in BBC Earth Experiences. Enjoy regional cooking demonstrations and food and wine tastings with EXC Port to Table programming. Relax with a spa treatment at the Greenhouse Salon & Spa. Or dine in one of our selection of fine restaurants.

The mid sized Volendam is the ideal way to visit idyllic Asian destinations venturing into ports that larger ships cannot enter.

Crew Appreciation is a daily (adjustable) amount added to your onboard account and pooled in order to recognise the many crew members in Dining, Entertainment, Housekeeping, Guest Services, Galley and Onboard Revenue and Entertainment areas throughout our fleet who contribute to the guest experience.?

The daily Crew Appreciation charge is $15.50 per guest per day for non-suite stateroom guests and $17.00 per guest per day for suite guests. The charges are subject to change without notice.

The Crew Appreciation Charge is paid to Holland America Line crew members and represents an important part of their compensation. An 18% Service Charge is automatically applied to all Beverage Purchases, Bar Retail Items, Specialty Restaurant Cover Charges, all For Purchase A La Carte Menu Items, and all Spa & Salon services. Local Sales Taxes Applied where required.

Date Time Price * Booking
03 January 2024 16:00 €11,162 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Itinerary*


Day 1 San Diego, California, United States

San Diego is a vacationer's paradise, with year-round temperatures in the seventies and near-constant sunshine. One of America's most family-friendly cities, San Diego is home to LEGOLAND, the New Children's Museum, and the famous San Diego Zoo. Sunbathers and surfers are guaranteed to find their perfect beach, and foodies find delights in artisanal breweries, local bistros, and gourmet restaurants. From the Broadway excitement of La Jolla Playhouse to the European feel of Little Italy to the nouveau-chic of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego has something for everyone.

Days 2-6  Cruising

Day 7 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Capital of Hawaii, and a popular tourist destination, Honolulu is known for surfing and water sports. However, there's more to the city than surfing; with museums, the only royal palace in the country, and a mall, there's bound to be something of interest for any visitor.

Day 8 Lahaina, Hawaii, United States

Lahaina is the largest census-designated place in West Maui, Maui County, Hawaii, United States and includes the Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts.

Day 9 Hilo, Hawaii, United States

Days 10-11  Cruising

Day 12 Fanning Islands, Kiribati

Days 13-15  Cruising

Day 16 Pago Pago, American Samoa

American Samoa is a tropical paradise, located in the Pacific Ocean and home to some of the world's most unique flora and fauna. Pago Pago is the main harbour and village of Tutuila island. It is considered the capital of the territory and is the entry point for visitors exploring the picturesque volcanic islands.

Day 17 Apia, Samoa

Samoa is a group of ten islands located in the South Pacific. The tropical climate and volcanic landscape create a picturesque location for visitors to explore, together with the experience of Fa'a Samoa, the three thousand year old way of life on Samoa.

Day 18  Cruising

Day 19 Suva, Fiji

Fiji is a collection of tropical islands in the South Pacific and is well known for soft coral diving, white sandy beaches, and idyllic and peaceful surroundings. Because of its paradisiac surroundings, Fiji is a popular location for weddings and honeymoons. Suva is the capital of the Fiji archipelago, located on the southeastern coast of the island of Viti Levu and is the second most populated city of Fiji.

Day 20 Lautoka, Fiji

North of Nadi through sugarcane plantations and past the Sabeto Mountains is Lautoka, nicknamed the Sugar City for the local agriculture and its big processing mill. With a population of around 50,000, it's the only city besides Suva and, like the capital, has a pleasant waterfront. It's the sailing point for Blue Lagoon and Beachcomber Cruises but is otherwise unremarkable for tourists, itself having few hotels and fewer good restaurants. Locals recommend the city as a less-expensive place to shop for clothing, but note that it can take as long as 45 minutes to drive here. Legend has it that Lautoka acquired its name when two chiefs engaged in combat and one hit the other with a spear. He proclaimed "lau toka" (spear hit) and thus the future town was named.

Day 21  Cruising

Day 22 Port Vila, Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island nation located in the southern Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is approximately 1,090 miles (about 1,750 kilometres) east of northern Australia, approximately 310 miles (about 500 kilometres) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. Located on Mélé Bay along the southwest coast of Éfaté, Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu, as well as its commercial and economic centre. Although Port Vila's British and French influences are apparent, its multinational population includes ni-Vanuatu, British, French, Chinese, and Vietnamese citizens. An active commercial port, the city is home to hospitals, hotels, casinos, markets and shopping districts, a sports stadium, cultural centre, teacher-training institution, campus of the University of the South Pacific, and several meat- and fish-processing plants. The municipality of Port Vila is divided into four wards, Malapoa-Tagabe, Anabrou-Melcofe-Tassiriki, Centre and South. The area occupied by Port Vila has been inhabited by Melanesian people for thousands of years. In 2004, an archaeological expedition unearthed a burial site with 25 tombs, skeletons and pieces of ceramic pottery dating from 1300 B.C. The Vanuatu Islands first had contact with Europeans in 1606 with the arrival of Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. Europeans did not return until 1768, when Louis Antoine de Bougainville rediscovered the islands. In 1774, Captain Cook called the islands the 'New Hebrides', a name that would last until their independence in 1980. In 1825, sandalwood was discovered on the island of Erromango, prompting a rush of immigrants that included Catholic and Protestant missionaries from European and North America, as well as settlers looking for land to farm cotton, coffee, cocoa, bananas, and coconuts. British subjects from Australia made up the majority of settlers, but the establishment of the Caledonian Company of the New Hebrides in 1882 attracted more French subjects. The land around Port Vila was converted into the municipality of Franceville in 1889. By the start of the 20th century, the French outnumbered the British, and the two nations agreed to govern the islands jointly by way of the British-French Condominium. During World War II, Port Vila was an American and Australian airbase. The New Hebrides National Party was established in the early-1970s. Renamed Vanua'aku Pati in 1974, the party pushed for independence. In 1980, amidst the brief Coconut War, the Republic of Vanuatu was created. The economies of Port Vila and Vanuatu are supported by the agriculture, offshore financial services and cattle industries. However, the abundant tropical beauty of Vanuatu has made Port Vila a popular tourist destination for outdoor and nature enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its tropical climate and exquisite, white-sand beaches and world-class fishing, the archipelago is a region of spectacular geographic diversity that includes spectacular volcanoes, mountains and valleys, along with idyllic jungles, rainforests, botanical gardens, mineral springs, and waterfalls. What's more, Port Vila offers easy access to exploring the city, Vanuatu and the offshore islands that comprise this wonderful South Pacific island chain. Port Vila consists of a diverse blend of Melanesian, Eastern and Western cultures that presents a unique opportunity to discover the people, traditions and history of Vanuatu. Cultural village tours are a fantastic way to meet the locals and experience indigenous lifestyles and customs through storytelling, music, dance, kava-tasting, and a traditional Melanesian feast. The evolution of Port Vila and Vanuatu can be explored during visits to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and Museum features a collection of historical artefacts from the Vanuatu Island. Additional historic landmarks include Independence Park, the French and British residencies, Supreme Court, Georges Pompidou Building, World War I and II memorials, Tanna Coffee-Roasting Factory, and more. Vanuatu's verdant canyons, jungle-covered mountain peaks, volcanoes, waterfalls, botanical gardens, mineral springs, white-sand beaches, and rainforests invite a wide array of picturesque, memorable and exciting sightseeing venues for outdoor enthusiasts. Land-based excursions include bird-watching, bicycling and motor-biking, eco-tours, hiking through jungle and rainforest nature trails, horseback-riding at the nearby Sea Horse Ranch or Club Hippique Adventure Park, helicopter or seaplane flight-seeing, dune-bugging the beaches and jungles, 'zorbing' down the hillsides, abseiling down a cascading waterfall, volcano trekking and sandboarding, zip-lining through the jungle canopy, and golfing at the stunningly beautiful Port Vila Golf and Country Club, the only 18-hole championship course in Vanuatu and home to the PGA-sanctioned Vanuatu Open. Picturesque and fun-filled water-based excursions include swimming, boating and sailing along the exquisite coast of Port Vila and Vanuatu, deep-sea fishing for enormous dolphin, marlin, wahoo, dorado, tuna, swordfish, and sailfish, jet-skiing and high-speed jet-boating, stand-up paddle-boarding, surfing, kite-surfing, and parasailing. The archipelago also offers some of the world's finest snorkelling and diving at venues such as the Hideaway Islands Marine Reserves, JoJo Beach Club, Havannah Beach and Boat Club, and Iririki Island.Due to its compact size, Port Vila can be easily explored in just a single day.

Day 23  Cruising

Day 24 Nouméa, New Caledonia

With its elegant urban infrastructure in a stunning natural setting, Noumea is a truly unique island and part of the New Caledonia archipelago. Noumea started as a penal colony, but has since evolved to a lovely metropolis and today has almost two thirds of New Caledonia's population. While much of the archipelago of New Caledonia has a large percentage of Kanak people – the indigenous inhabitants who live in tribal areas across the country – Noumea is predominantly European with a strong French influence. The city's center and Place de Cocotiers, the main park, are located close to the harbor and several churches date back to the late 19th century. Other attractions include a world-class aquarium at Anse Vata, several long beaches to the south, and a noteworthy collection of Kanak and South Pacific objects at the Museum of New Caledonia. The architectural gem of the city is the Tjibaou Cultural Center, the structure of which resembles sails, or the roofs of Kanak houses hidden behind mangroves.

Day 25  Cruising

Day 26 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Founded in 1824 on the banks of the wide, meandering Brisbane River, the former penal colony of Brisbane was for many years regarded as just a big country town. Many beautiful timber Queenslander homes, built in the 1800s, still dot the riverbanks and inner suburbs, and in spring the city's numerous parks erupt in a riot of colorful jacaranda, poinciana, and bougainvillea blossoms. Today the Queensland capital is one of Australia's most up-and-coming cities: glittering high-rises mark its polished business center, slick fashion boutiques and restaurants abound, and numerous outdoor attractions beckon. In summer, temperatures here are broilingly hot and days are often humid, a reminder that this city is part of a subtropical region. Wear SPF 30-plus sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat outdoors, even on overcast days.Brisbane's inner suburbs, a 5- to 10-minute drive or 15- to 20-minute walk from the city center, have a mix of intriguing eateries and quiet accommodations. Fortitude Valley combines Chinatown with a cosmopolitan mix of clubs, cafés, and boutiques. Spring Hill has several high-quality hotels, and Paddington, New Farm, Petrie Terrace, West End, and Woolloongabba are full of an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. Brisbane is also a convenient base for trips to the Sunshine and Gold coasts, the mountainous hinterlands, and the Moreton Bay islands.

Day 27  Cruising

Day 28 Airlie Beach, Australia

Day 29 Townsville, Queensland, Australia

This coastal city has little in the way of sandy beaches or surf, but it does have shady parks, charming colonial buildings, and a boardwalk-flanked waterfront Esplanade with a terrific man-made beach and picnic facilities. The historic town center has thrived recently, with an influx of lively eateries and bars. There are also some excellent museum and a world-class aquarium.Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has an office on Magnetic Island, but Townsville Enterprise's information kiosks in Flinders Square and the Museum of Tropical Queensland (MTQ), on the mainland, are the best sources of visitor info about the island.

Day 30 Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region's stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.

Day 31 Ribbon Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Days 32-33  Cruising

Day 34 Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin is Australia's most colorful, and exotic, capital city. Surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Timor Sea, the streets are lined with tropical flowers and trees. Warm and dry in winter, hot and steamy in summer, it's a relaxed and casual place, as well as a beguiling blend of tropical frontier outpost and Outback hardiness. Thanks to its close proximity to Southeast Asia and its multicultural population it also seems more like Asia than the rest of Australia. Darwin is a city that has always had to fight for its survival. The seductiveness of contemporary Darwin lifestyles belies a history of failed attempts that date from 1824 when Europeans attempted to establish an enclave in this harsh, unyielding climate. The original 1869 settlement, called Palmerston, was built on a parcel of mangrove wetlands and scrub forest that had changed little in 15 million years. It was not until 1911, after it had already weathered the disastrous cyclones of 1878, 1882, and 1897, that the town was named after the scientist who had visited Australia's shores aboard the Beagle in 1839. During World War II it was bombed more than 60 times, as the harbor full of warships was a prime target for the Japanese war planes. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve 1974, the city was almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy, Australia's greatest natural disaster. It's a tribute to those who stayed and to those who have come to live here after Tracy that the rebuilt city now thrives as an administrative and commercial center for northern Australia. Old Darwin has been replaced by something of an edifice complex—such buildings as Parliament House and the Supreme Court all seem very grand for such a small city, especially one that prides itself on its casual, outdoor-centric lifestyle. Today Darwin is the best place from which to explore Australia's Top End, with its wonders of Kakadu and the Kimberley region.

Days 35-36  Cruising

Day 37 Komodo Island, Indonesia

Pink Beach earned its name for the way the beach can appear to have a rosy hue in certain lights. The color comes from small flecks of red coral mixed in with the fine white reef sand. With a few trees along the beach for shade, this stretch of coast makes a fine place to relax or enjoy a snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters. It is possible to spot a striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or to see a grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant soft coral. The reef here is now protected by law and the maturing corals are a joy to behold.

Day 38  Cruising

Day 39 Broome, Western Australia, Australia

Traffic in the Broome Harbour (a very busy working harbour) is restricted, requiring special permits for all vehicles accessing the pier area. Guests are not permitted in this area on an individual basis. In order to make disembarkation as smooth as possible Silversea will be providing a group motorcoach transfer from the pier to the airport.  This transfer will depart shortly after the ship is cleared.  Exact timings will be communicated by the ship's staff.Guests who do not wish to go to the airport immediately following disembarkation will be transferred to Pearl Luggers, located 10 - 15 minutes from the airport, where taxis are available for hire. 

Day 40  Cruising

Day 41 Exmouth, Western Australia, Australia

Day 42  Cruising

Day 43 Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia

Surrounded by beaches, sun-drenched Geraldton in Western Australia is a thriving city facing the Indian Ocean. Located on the Coral Coast, the city has a friendly country town feel but is infused local history and cultural heritage. Like many coastal towns, the dining and café culture is superb and the choice of which restaurant to choose is a happy dilemma for most travellers!Celebrated for its annual display of spectacular wildflowers, Geraldton's flora attracts visitors from all regions, with guides taking tourists on as much as 300 mile/500 kilometre round trips in order to make sure that they receive the best possible experience. A haven for visitors especially during the cooler months, the views differ year-in year-out and vary greatly depending on the rainfall. Whole fields become blanketed in colour and rare plants, such as the wreath-flower, burst into splendorous bloom. The well-informed guides keep a track of what is flowering where and visitors only have to ask to be pointed in the right direction. With over 300 species of native plants, it is only expected that insects and birds are attracted to the area. Over 120 types of bird have been classified as well as 22 types of reptile and seven types of frog. Happily, the iconic kangaroo also makes the plains their home, so visitors can expect a real Aussie welcome if they happen upon one!

Day 44 Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Day 45 Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Day 46  Cruising

Day 47 Albany, Western Australia, Australia

Proclaimed a city on July 1, 1998, Albany with a population of 28,000 is rapidly expanding. It is the commercial center of Western Australia's southern region and the oldest settlement in the state, established in 1826. Boasting an excellent harbor on King George Sound led to Albany becoming a thriving whaling port. Later, when steam ships started traveling between England and Australia, Albany was an important coaling station and served as a penal and a military outpost. The coastline offers some of Australia's most rugged and spectacular scenery. At certain times of the year, whales can be spotted off the coast. Among the city's attractions are some fine old colonial buildings that reflect Albany's Victorian heritage. Various lookout points offer stunning vistas.

Days 48-49  Cruising

Day 50 Port Lincoln, South Australia, Australia

Port Lincoln is the second-largest city on the lower Eyre Peninsula in the Australian state of South Australia. Nestled on the shore of Boston Bay, Australia's largest natural harbour, Port Lincoln opens eastward into Spencer Gulf. Port Lincoln is the largest city in the west coast region, and located approximately 174 miles (280 kilometres) from the capital city of Adelaide. Port Lincoln has a contrasting coastal landscape, ranging from sheltered waters and beaches to surf beaches and rugged oceanic coastline. The Great South Australian Coastal Upwelling System brings cold, nutrient-rich water into nearby waters of the Great Australian Bight and Spencer Gulf. This phenomenon supports lucrative fisheries, including that of the southern bluefin tuna and sardine, making Port Lincoln locally-renowned as the 'Seafood Capital of Australia'. The Eyre Peninsula has been home to Aboriginal people for thousands of years. The Nauo (south-western Eyre), Barngarla (eastern Eyre), Wirangu (north-western Eyre) and Mirning (far-western Eyre) being the predominant original cultural groups present at the time of the arrival of Europeans. Port Lincoln was discovered by Matthew Flinders under his commission by the British Admiralty to chart Australia's unexplored coastline. Flinders dropped anchor in Boston Bay in February 1802, and named the spot Port Lincoln after his native Lincolnshire in England. Port Lincoln was initially considered as the alternative site for the State's capital, but was subsequently rejected by Colonel Light in 1836 in favour of Adelaide; a lack of fresh water supplies was a major determining factor. The first settlers arrived in Port Lincoln in March 1839 aboard the Abeona, the Dorset and the Porter. There is an historic plaque at the First Landing site to commemorate the event. In the years since, Port Lincoln has evolved into one of the nation's biggest combined agricultural, fishing and aquaculture industries, with tourism becoming a major contributor towards the local economy. Port Lincoln offers ample opportunities to explore its unique blend of cultures and storied past. The local culture, traditions and storied past can be experienced during visits to any of Port Lincoln's scenic and informative museums. The Axel Stenross Museum is filled with maritime history, relics and artefacts from windjammer days. The Koppio Smithy National Trust Museum is a vast, Heritage-listed, open-air museum nestled amidst the rolling hills of Koppio, and replete with buildings and artefacts representing the early pioneer heritage of Eyre Peninsula. The Mt. Dutton Bay Woolshed Museum is a Heritage-listed 'working' museum consisting of hundreds of local artefacts depicting the history of Port Lincoln's historic shearing, farming and fishing era. The National Trust 'Mill Cottage' offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the pioneering life of the Bishop family, one of Port Lincoln's first settlement families, during a visit to their 1866 home. The Railway Museum provides an authentic setting for many of the museum displays, with many internal features still intact from the days when it was an active railway station. Port Lincoln is home to 148,263 acres (60,000 hectares) of national parks, with abundant beaches, local wildlife, flora and fauna, 250 bird species, and breath-taking panoramic vistas of Boston Bay, Spencer Gulf and beyond. Port Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park and Kellidie Bay Conservation Park are all located nearby, and represent a unique opportunity to explore Port Lincoln's exquisite natural and coastal beauty. Land-based outdoor excursions include bird-watching, scenic walking tours, off-road 4WD excursions and wildlife tours at the Glen-Forest Tourist Park and Wilderness Wanders Adventure Tours, or a relaxing round of golf at the Port Lincoln Golf Club, located 6.2 miles (10 kilometres) from Port Lincoln. The abundant blue waters off Port Lincoln, Boston Bay, Spencer Gulf and the ocean beyond are ideally-suited for aquaculture tours, windsurfing, surfing, snorkelling, scuba-diving, fishing, boating, sailing, swimming with bluefin tuna at Swim with the Tuna, and shark cage-diving and swimming with sea lions, seals, rays, and grouper at Calypso Star Charters and Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions. Due to its compact size, Port Lincoln can be easily explored in just a single day.

Day 51 Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia

Kangaroo Island is with 1,740 square miles the third largest island off the coast of Australia. It is 96 miles long and 34 miles wide, and known for its outstanding natural beauty. Due to its remote location, Kangaroo Island was less affected than the mainland by the impact of European development. To this day, the island is rich in diverse flora and fauna seldom found elsewhere. As one of the world's last unspoiled wilderness places, about 30 percent of the island has been designated as National Parks. The most important one is Flinders Chase at the western end of Kangaroo Island, with Seal Bay Conservation Park following close behind. Its large sandy beach and dune area is home to Australian sea lions where they come to rest and nurse their young. Kingscote, formerly known as Queenscliffe, is the largest town on the island and its main supply depot. Tourism is a significant element in the local economy. A mix of attractive small townships, wildlife sanctuaries and fascinating wilderness areas guarantee a steady stream of visitors each year.

Day 52 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Australians think of Adelaide as a city of churches, but Adelaide has outgrown its reputation as a sleepy country town dotted with cathedrals and spires. The Adelaide of this millennium is infinitely more complex, with a large, multiethnic population and thriving urban art and music scenes supported by a "space activation program" that encourages pop-up shops, markets, performances, street food, mini festivals, art exhibitions, and other "off-the-cuff" experiences in the cities underutilized streets and public spaces.Bright and clean, leafy and beautiful Adelaide is a breeze to explore, with a grid pattern of streets encircled by parkland. The heart of the greenbelt is divided by the meandering River Torrens, which passes the Festival Centre in its prettiest stretch.

Day 53  Cruising

Day 54 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Consistently rated among the "world's most livable cities" in quality-of-life surveys, Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe of Port Phillip Bay. The city center is an orderly grid of streets where the state parliament, banks, multinational corporations, and splendid Victorian buildings that sprang up in the wake of the gold rush now stand. This is Melbourne's heart, which you can explore at a leisurely pace in a couple of days.In Southbank, one of the newer precincts south of the city center, the Southgate development of bars, restaurants, and shops has refocused Melbourne's vision on the Yarra River. Once a blighted stretch of factories and run-down warehouses, the southern bank of the river is now a vibrant, exciting part of the city, and the river itself is finally taking its rightful place in Melbourne's psyche.Just a hop away, Federation Square—with its host of galleries—has become a civic landmark for Melburnians. Stroll along the Esplanade in the suburb of St. Kilda, amble past the elegant houses of East Melbourne, enjoy the shops and cafés in Fitzroy or Carlton, rub shoulders with locals at the Victoria Market, nip into the Windsor for afternoon tea, or rent a canoe at Studley Park to paddle along one of the prettiest stretches of the Yarra—and you may discover Melbourne's soul as well as its heart.

Day 55  Cruising

Day 56 Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Day 57 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Straddling the Derwent River at the foot of Mt. Wellington's forested slopes, Hobart was founded as a penal settlement in 1803. It's the second-oldest city in the country after Sydney, and it certainly rivals its mainland counterpart as Australia's most beautiful state capital. Close-set colonial brick-and-sandstone shops and homes line the narrow, quiet streets, creating a genteel setting for this historic city of 215,000. Life revolves around the broad Derwent River port, one of the deepest harbors in the world. Here warehouses that once stored Hobart's major exports of fruit, wool, and corn and products from the city's former whaling fleet still stand alongside the wharf today.Hobart sparkles between Christmas and New Year's—summer Down Under—during the annual Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. The event dominates conversations among Hobart's citizens, who descend on Constitution Dock to welcome the yachts and join in the boisterous festivities of the crews. The New Year also coincides with the Tastes of Tasmania Festival, when the dockside area comes alive with the best of Tasmanian food and wine on offer in numerous cafés, bars, and waterfront stalls. Otherwise, Hobart is a placid city whose nightlife is largely confined to excellent restaurants, jazz clubs, and the action at the Wrest Point Casino in Sandy Bay.The Hobart Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre hours are weekdays 8:30–5:30 and Saturday 9–5.

Day 58  Cruising

Day 59 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin as the plane circles the city, where thousands of yachts are suspended on the dark water and the sails of the Opera House glisten in the distance. Blessed with dazzling beaches and a sunny climate, Sydney is among the most beautiful cities on the planet.With 4.6 million people, Sydney is the biggest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. A wave of immigration from the 1950s has seen the Anglo-Irish immigrants who made up the city's original population joined by Italians, Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians. This intermingling has created a cultural vibrancy and energy—and a culinary repertoire—that was missing only a generation ago.Sydneysiders embrace their harbor with a passion. Indented with numerous bays and beaches, Sydney Harbour is the presiding icon for the city, and urban Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the 11-ship First Fleet, wrote in his diary when he first set eyes on the harbor on January 26, 1788: "We had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbor in the world."Although a visit to Sydney is an essential part of an Australian experience, the city is no more representative of Australia than Los Angeles is of the United States. Sydney has joined the ranks of the great cities whose characters are essentially international. What Sydney offers is style, sophistication, and great looks—an exhilarating prelude to the continent at its back door.

* Itinerary is subject to change. The exact itinerary can be confirmed at the time of booking.

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