After waiting two years to cruise, Australians can at last fly around the globe to join cruise ships in some of the world’s most desirable ports. It’s time to dive back into cruising and embark on those postponed dreams. Afloat on the oceans of the seven continents, along the rivers of Europe and Asia, and in remote regions only accessible by ship, travellers are set to sail away.

We’ve combed the brochures for these bucket-list trips scheduled to depart from mid-2022 through to 2023 aboard the most trusted cruise lines.

Carnival in Rio 

Arrive in Rio de Janeiro during the peak of the Carnival festivities, docked in the city for two lively nights. Azamara’s 15-night cruise from Argentina to Brazil and Uruguay also calls at Montevideo, São Paulo, Paraty, the beaches of Armação dos Búzios and Punta del Este, and IIhabela for a late stay.  

Fares: From $6,221 per person for an ocean view cabin including select drinks. Book by March 31 to receive US $500 onboard credit.
Depart: Buenos Aires
When: February 10, 2023
Ship: Azamara Pursuit
azamara.com

Northern lights

To see the spectacular aurora borealis, travel with local experts Hurtigruten, a Norwegian expedition line. On this 14-night trip, spend six days above the Arctic Circle visiting Bergen, Narvik and Tromsø. Experience the thrill of dog sledding, snowshoeing and kayaking, and then relax in the ship’s hot tub and sauna with views of the fjords.

Fares: An outside cabin is priced from $6,182 per person.
Depart: Dover, England
When: October 2022 to February 2023
Ship: MS Maud
hurtigruten.com.au

North Pole

Reach the geographic North Pole aboard the world’s first hybrid-electric polar cruise ship powered by liquid natural gas. Ponant’s 14-night expedition also offers opportunities to try ice fishing, snowshoeing and swimming in a dry suit in the freezing waters. Keep an eye out for polar bears, walruses and narwhals. This unforgettable itinerary includes stops in Greenland and Iceland. 

Fares: Pricing starts at $53,830 per person, including a transfer flight from Paris.
Depart: Longyearbyen
When: August 22, 2022
Ship: Le Commandant Charcot
ponant.com

New Zealand

Celebrate Christmas in Melbourne and New Year’s Eve cruising between Christchurch and Wellington on Seven Seas Explorer, “the most luxurious

ship ever built”, according to Regent Seven Sea Cruises. This close-to-home voyage from Sydney to Auckland also calls at Geelong, Burnie, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua and the Bay of Islands, with scenic sailing through the magnificent Milford, Doubtful and Dusty sounds.

Fares: All-inclusive fares start at $15,000 per person, including drinks and unlimited shore excursions.
Departs: Sydney
When: December 22, 2023
Ship: Seven Seas Explorer
rssc.com

Egypt

Explore Egypt the easy way aboard a Viking river vessel, meandering down the Nile on a Pharoahs & Pyramids cruise. Uncover the ancient secrets of fascinating tombs and temples, accompanied by expert Egyptologists, immerse in the culture at Aswan’s spice markets or skim the waters on a traditional felucca

Fares: From $7,295 per person including excursions, WiFi and drinks with meals.
Depart: Cairo
When: January–March, August–December 2023
Ship: Viking Osiris or Viking Aton
vikingcruises.com.au

Rivers of the world

Uniworld has announced a 46-night journey across nine countries on five ships. Start in style on Egypt’s Nile river aboard its newest vessel, the elegant Sphinx. Then fly to the Swiss Alps for a land tour of Switzerland and Italy before joining La Venezia in Venice. Next is Hungary, Austria and Germany on the Maria Theresa, followed by France, on the Joie de Vivre from Paris. Complete this incredible experience on the São Gabriel in the stunning valley of Portugal’s Douro River. A glamorous farewell event is held in Lisbon. The 2023 journey has sold out; a waitlist for the 2024 sailing opens soon.

Fares: All-inclusive, from $56,699 per person.
Depart: Cairo
When: May 20, 2023
uniworld.com

Antarctica

When it’s once in a lifetime, splurge on the world’s most luxurious yacht, Scenic Eclipse. Enjoy a ride in its submarine to see the true size of icebergs under the waterline, kayak next to penguins and seals, or take a helicopter flight for views of inland areas that other people never see. A team of experts offer guided hiking and Zodiac tours and present lectures about Antarctica. 

Fares: Priced from $20,747 per person for a deluxe verandah suite, including drinks, dining at 10 onboard venues, butler service, and a pre-cruise hotel stay. Save $7,236 per couple with an early-bird deal.
Depart: Buenos Aires
When: December 2023, January and February 2024
Ship: Scenic Eclipse
scenic.com.au

Hawaii 

Norwegian Cruise Line is the only major line to operate year-round inter-island Hawaiian cruises, with itineraries through to 2025 recently opened for sale. Enjoy overnight stays in Maui and Kauai, and a day each in Oahu and the Big Island. Highlights include an afternoon cruise along the Nā Pali Coast, known for dramatic cliffs and waterfalls best viewed by sea. Among the 70 optional shore excursions are a bike adventure in Hilo’s rainforest, and a visit to Pearl Harbor. 

Fares: On big ships, it’s worth upgrading to a Penthouse suite, from $6,750 per person, to add perks such as butler and concierge service, VIP reservations and a drinks package.
Depart: Honolulu
When: Multiple sailings monthly
Ship: Pride of America
ncl.com

Mediterranean 

Slipping into smaller harbours and blending in with private yachts, the new 100-passenger Emerald Azzurra is perfect for the Med. The 14-night Discover the French and Italian Coastlines itinerary from Croatia stops in Amalfi, Sorrento, Rome (Civitavecchia), Sicily’s Giardini Naxos, Corsica’s Bonifacio and France’s Côte d’Azure, ending in Nice. Walking tours are included in the medieval Monopoli, Taormina and Porto Ercole. Emerald Cruises is an Australian company that also operates river cruises, so the offerings and personal service are similar to a river journey. 

Fares: From $9,821 per person including drinks with lunch and dinner, and airport transfers to and from the ship.
Departs: Dubrovnik
When: April, May, October 2023
Ship: Emerald Azzurra
emeraldcruises.com.au

Asia

A round trip from Singapore, this 14-night cruise offers stops in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. From cities to beaches, ports of call include Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Penang. Travelling with Silversea is a joy in itself.

Fares: From $7,600 per person, including superior dining, drinks, butler service and shuttles into each port. For an extra $3,000, the door-to-door fare adds private transfers from your home and a daily shore excursion.
Depart: Singapore
When: November 24, 2022
Ship: Silver Shadow
silversea.com

Fiji

Closer to home, Blue Lagoon Cruises’ Escape to Paradise itinerary is an adults-only option (some sailings throughout the year are family-friendly). Kick off your holiday at Malamala Beach Club, unwinding on a beachside cabana, dipping into the infinity pool and enjoying the upbeat atmosphere. A boat arrives mid-afternoon to transfer guests to the 68-passenger Fiji Princess for a week of island-hopping through the Mamanucas and the Yasawa islands. Swim with (harmless) sharks and manta rays in crystal-clear water, bask on private beaches, and enjoy a lovo feast under the stars.

Fares: Seven nights are priced from $3,702 per person.
Depart: Port Denarau
When: Every Friday
Ship: Fiji Princess
bluelagooncruises.com

UAE to Africa

Oceania Cruises’ Sands to Safari combines the destinations of your dreams in one seamless, month-long trip: Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Goa, Mumbai, Male, Mahe, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Cape Town and more. Go on safari in Kenya or South Africa. Snorkel in the Seychelles and the Maldives, and enjoy a 4WD adventure in the dunes of Fujairah. 

Fares: From $12,420 per person including drinks and eight excursions.
Depart: Dubai
When: December 7, 2022
Ship: Nautica
oceaniacruises.com

The Kimberley

Unlike dry-season cruises, True North’s Kimberley Waterfalls itinerary at the end of the wet season presents a chance to experience gushing falls. One of the advantages of the 36-passenger vessel is its ability to position its bow underneath the twin falls for guests to enjoy a refreshing shower. Other highlights include a picnic reached by helicopter, fishing for barramundi, hikes to see ancient Aboriginal rock art, and Montgomery Reef, which appears to rise from the water when the tide drops several metres.

Fares: From $20,595 per person
Depart: Darwin
When: April 6, 2022
Ship: True North
truenorth.com.au

Japan 

Aurora Expeditions’ cruise to the Kuril Islands in the Russian Far East can be combined with a week on land in Japan. Starting in Tokyo, catch a bullet train, learn about the culture of Kyoto and have a hot springs foot bath with Mount Fuji views. Then board a charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to board the expedition ship Sylvia Earle, bound for the Kuril Islands. Discover a region teeming with marine life such as orcas and sperm whales and migrating Siberian rubythroats and tufted puffins. Zodiac tours explore flooded calderas and spot brown bears. 

Fares: The 14-night cruise is priced from $15,746 per person. The Japan extension starts at $8,835 per person.
Depart: Tokyo
When: August 2022
Ship: Sylvia Earle
auroraexpeditions.com.au

World cruise 

See it all in one epic odyssey aboard the only world cruise to set sail from Sydney (the Sydney sailing will be in 2024; 2023 cruises depart from Los Angeles or Fort Lauderdale). Among the highlights of Coral Princess’s 110-day extravaganza are New Zealand, Tahiti, Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, Peru, New York, Morocco, Sri Lanka, plenty of ports in Canada, Europe and the UK, and the Panama Canal.

Fares: Suites are sold out, but some balcony cabins remain. Upgrade to Princess Plus, which adds a drinks package and WiFi, from $28,189 per person.
Depart: Sydney
When: April 30, 2024
Ship: Coral Princess
princess.com.au

Transatlantic return 

If you’ve missed the ocean so much that you want to spend a week at sea with no ports of call, the ultimate voyage is crossing the Atlantic from the UK to New York on the iconic Queen Mary 2. Cunard also offers round-trip cruises, doubling the duration to 14 days. Guests can disembark and enjoy the day in New York City, before returning to the liner for the cruise back to Southampton. 

In 2022, selected departures are Shakespeare-themed. Spend leisurely days attending Royal Shakespeare Company performances, join in workshops with the actors, or watch screenings of past productions.

Fares: Princess Grill and Queens Grill suites are priced from $9,498 per suite, which allows superior dining in exclusive restaurants at a reserved table.
Depart: Southampton, England
When: April, May, July, August, October 2022
Ship: Queen Mary 2
cunard.com
* All prices are twin-share and in Australian dollars.

Circumnavigation of Australia

This 59-night lap of the country is aboard Coral Expeditions’ 120-passenger ship. The route retraces Captain Cook’s voyages on the east coast, explores World Heritage sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island, visits King Islan d and Kangaroo Island, before sailing past the Bunda sea cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. On the west coast, dive or snorkel the Rowley Shoals and have dinner with the winemakers at Leeuwin Estate in the Margaret River region. In Darwin, a private charter flight will transport guests to Uluru for the outdoor Sounds of Silence dinner.

Fares: From $42,740 per person twin-share, including activities and wine and beer with meals. Limited single cabins are available, priced from $64,110 per person.
Depart: Cairns
When: October 17, 2022
Ship: Coral Adventurer
coralexpeditions.com.au

Holy land

For people of faith, the opportunity to visit sites mentioned in the Bible, Koran or Torah is higher on their bucket list than anything else. Seabourn, the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage, has a 16-night Holy Land & Arabian Gems itinerary from Athens to Jordan with stops in Jerusalem and Haifa (Israel). Guests can choose from tours to Bethlehem, Nazareth and Galilee, Baha’i Hanging Gardens, the Wailing Wall or the Dead Sea. The small ship also ticks off a transit of the Suez Canal.

Fares: All-inclusive, from $11,699 per person.
Depart: Athens
When: November 20, 2022
Ship: Seabourn Encore
seabourn.com