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Seductive South Pacific/Nautica
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Nautica

Seductive South Pacific - 50 night cruise



Cruise only from €13,592

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


Description

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Elegantly charming, Nautica's lounges, suites and staterooms boast luxurious, residential furnishings and her decks are resplendent in the finest teak, custom stone and tile work. Nautica offers every luxury you may expect on board one of our stylish ships. She features four unique, open-seating restaurants, the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 333 luxurious suites and chic staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. With just 656 guests to pamper, our 400 professionally trained staff ensure you will wait for nothing.

In a dramatic re-inspiration process, Nautica will become a completely redesigned ship without peer. Every surface of every suite and stateroom will be entirely new, while in the public spaces, a refreshed colour palette of soft sea and sky tones will surround a tasteful renewal of fabrics, furnishings and lighting fixtures that exquisitely encompasses the inimitable style and comfort of Oceania Cruises. From the bejewelled new chandeliers in the gracious Grand Dining Room to the beckoning Reception Hall, Nautica will celebrate a rejuvenation so sweeping, you will find it positively unimaginable to resist her welcoming embrace.

How much you choose to tip is a personal matter and completely at your discretion. For your convenience, the following gratuities are automatically added to your shipboard account.

For guests occupying staterooms, gratuities of $16.00 per guest, per day will be added.

For guests occupying Penthouse, Oceania, Vista or Owner's Suites where Butler Service is provided, gratuities of $23.00 per guest, per day will be added.

In addition, an 18% service gratuity is automatically added to all beverage purchases, spa services and dinner at La Reserve. Naturally, guests may adjust gratuities while on board the vessel at their sole discretion.

Date Time Price * Booking
25 February 2025 06:00 €13,592 Call us to book

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


Itinerary*


Day 1 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax inside picturesque stilted huts, which stand out over shimmering water, as you settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life, in this Polynesian paradise.

Day 2 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax inside picturesque stilted huts, which stand out over shimmering water, as you settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life, in this Polynesian paradise.

Day 3 Moorea, French Polynesia

Mo'orea is one of the Society Islands of the French Polynesia. Located in the South Pacific, it is considered a magical island thanks to its majestic volcanic mountains, set against warm lagoon waters and green meadows. It is an island that attracts visitors of all abilities wanting to explore both above and below the ocean waters.

Day 4 Fakarava, French Polynesia

Day 5  Cruising

Day 6 Nuku Hiva Island, French Polynesia

Day 7  Cruising

Day 8 Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Day 9 Bora-Bora, French Polynesia

Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you'll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun, scuba dive, or simply revel in the opulent luxury of one of the island's many magnificent resorts. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia.

Day 10 Bora-Bora, French Polynesia

Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you'll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun, scuba dive, or simply revel in the opulent luxury of one of the island's many magnificent resorts. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia.

Day 11 Uturoa, Raietea Island, French Polynesia

Day 12 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax inside picturesque stilted huts, which stand out over shimmering water, as you settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life, in this Polynesian paradise.

Day 13 Maroe, Huahine Island, French Polynesia

Day 14 Bora-Bora, French Polynesia

Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you'll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun, scuba dive, or simply revel in the opulent luxury of one of the island's many magnificent resorts. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia.

Days 15-16  Cruising

Day 17 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 18  Cruising

Day 19 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 20  Cruising

Day 21 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 22 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 23  Cruising

Day 24 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 25 Lifou Island, New Caledonia

Lifou is a commune of France in the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia. Lifou is made up of two main islands - Lifou Island and Tiga Island- in additional to a number of uninhabited islets. Lifou Isand is the largest atoll in the world. The island is actually made of fossilized coral - known as a makatea. Lifou island does not have any surface water and it relies on a freshwater reservoir accessed by caves. Lifou Island is best known for its vast atoll (the largest in the world). This ring-shaped coral reef affords some of the best snorkelling in the world. Popular activities on this island include scenic walks, relaxing days on the beach, swimming and snorkelling. There are no organized tours being offered during this call to Lifou Island, guests may explore on their own.

Day 26 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.

Days 27-28  Cruising

Day 29 Whangarei, New Zealand

Day 30 Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Maori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Maori language and means solitary bird.According to Maori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngati-Whatua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngati-Whatua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Maori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools' Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.

Day 31 Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Maori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Maori language and means solitary bird.According to Maori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngati-Whatua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngati-Whatua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Maori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools' Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.

Day 32 Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Tasman Sea on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east meet at thetop of North Island at Cape Reinga. No matter what route you take, you'll passfarms and forests, marvellous beaches, and great open spaces. The East Coast,up to the Bay of Islands, is Northland's most densely populated, often withrefugees from bigger cities—looking for a more relaxed life—clustered aroundbreathtaking beaches. The first decision on the drive north comes at the footof the Brynderwyn Hills. Turning left will take you up the West Coast throughareas once covered with forests and now used for either agricultural orhorticulture. Driving over "the Brynderwyns," as they are known,takes you to Whangarei, the only city in Northland. If you're in the mood for adiversion, you can slip to the beautiful coastline and take in Waipu Cove, anarea settled by Scots, and Laings Beach, where million-dollar homes sit next tosmall Kiwi beach houses.An hour's drive farther north is the Bay of Islands, known all over theworld for its beauty. There you will find lush forests, splendid beaches, andshimmering harbors. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840 betweenMaoriand the British Crown, establishing the basis for the modern New Zealandstate. Every year on February 6, the extremely beautiful Waitangi Treaty Ground(the name means weeping waters) is the sight of a celebration of the treaty andprotests by Maori unhappy with it. Continuing north on the East Coast, theagricultural backbone of the region is even more evident and a series ofwinding loop roads off the main highway will take you to beaches that are bothbeautiful and isolated where you can swim, dive, picnic, or just laze. .The West Coast is even less populated, and the coastline is rugged andwindswept. In the Waipoua Forest, you will find some of New Zealand's oldestand largest kauri trees; the winding road will also take you past mangroveswamps. Crowning the region is the spiritually significant Cape Reinga, theheadland at the top of the vast stretch of 90 Mile Beach, where it's believedMaori souls depart after death. Today Maori make up roughly a quarter of thearea's population (compared with the national average of about 15%). The legendaryMaori navigator Kupe was said to have landed on the shores of Hokianga Harbour,where the first arrivals made their home. Many different wi (tribes) livedthroughout Northland, including Ngapuhi (the largest), Te Roroa, Ngati Wai,Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngaitakoto, Ngati Kahu, and Te Rarawa. Many Maoriherecan trace their ancestry to the earliest inhabitants

Days 33-34  Cruising

Day 35 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.

Days 36-37  Cruising

Day 38 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 39 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 40  Cruising

Day 41 Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia

Day 42  Cruising

Day 43 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.

Day 44  Cruising

Day 45 Kupang, Indonesia

Day 46 Waingapu, Sumba, Indonesia

Day 47 Benoa, Bali, Indonesia

Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities.

Day 48 Benoa, Bali, Indonesia

Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities.

Day 49  Cruising

Day 50 Jakarta, Indonesia

Day 51  Cruising

Day 52 Singapore, Singapore

The main island of Singapore is shaped like a flattened diamond, 42 km (26 miles) east to west and 23 km (14 miles) north to south. Near the northern peak is the causeway leading to West Malaysia—Kuala Lumpur is less than four hours away by car. It is at the southern foot where you will find most of the city-state's action, with its gleaming office towers, working docks, and futuristic "supertrees," which are solar-powered and serve as vertical gardens. Offshore are Sentosa and over 60 smaller islands, most uninhabited, that serve as bases for oil refining or as playgrounds and beach escapes from the city. To the east is Changi International Airport, connected to the city by metro, bus, and a tree-lined parkway. Of the island's total land area, more than half is built up, with the balance made up of parkland, farmland, plantations, swamp areas, and rain forest. Well-paved roads connect all parts of the island, and Singapore city has an excellent, and constantly expanding, public transportation system. The heart of Singapore's history and its modern wealth are in and around the Central Business District. The area includes the skyscrapers in the Central Business District, the 19th-century Raffles Hotel, the convention centers of Marina Square, on up to the top of Ft. Canning. Although most of old Singapore has been knocked down to make way for the modern city, most colonial landmarks have been preserved in the CBD, including early-19th-century buildings designed by the Irish architect George Coleman.

Day 53 Singapore, Singapore

The main island of Singapore is shaped like a flattened diamond, 42 km (26 miles) east to west and 23 km (14 miles) north to south. Near the northern peak is the causeway leading to West Malaysia—Kuala Lumpur is less than four hours away by car. It is at the southern foot where you will find most of the city-state's action, with its gleaming office towers, working docks, and futuristic "supertrees," which are solar-powered and serve as vertical gardens. Offshore are Sentosa and over 60 smaller islands, most uninhabited, that serve as bases for oil refining or as playgrounds and beach escapes from the city. To the east is Changi International Airport, connected to the city by metro, bus, and a tree-lined parkway. Of the island's total land area, more than half is built up, with the balance made up of parkland, farmland, plantations, swamp areas, and rain forest. Well-paved roads connect all parts of the island, and Singapore city has an excellent, and constantly expanding, public transportation system. The heart of Singapore's history and its modern wealth are in and around the Central Business District. The area includes the skyscrapers in the Central Business District, the 19th-century Raffles Hotel, the convention centers of Marina Square, on up to the top of Ft. Canning. Although most of old Singapore has been knocked down to make way for the modern city, most colonial landmarks have been preserved in the CBD, including early-19th-century buildings designed by the Irish architect George Coleman.

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

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