Travel Agents & Pacific Cruises
Specializing in Pacific Cruises
There are a variety of types of cruises a person can take in the Pacific. If you choose to specialize in Pacific cruises, you should familiarize yourself with the different cruise lines that operate there. Many of the cruise lines that operate around the South Pacific Islands are smaller. They usually offer a high standard of luxury and provide guests with a pampered and memorable experience. Because these cruise lines are smaller, they often do not have training programs for travel agents like you might find with the larger cruise lines. For this reason you must be proactive as a travel agent and educate yourself regarding all of the offerings available for your clients.
Both Australia and New Zealand are visited by several of the larger cruise lines. These include Celebrity and Princess Cruises among others. Many visitors to the area have traveled a great distance and hope to make the most out of their experience. Often times they will want to combine a cruise with a land tour. This allows them to see the inland areas of the Outback, or the mountainous areas of New Zealand. As a travel agent you should familiarize yourself with what packages are available so that you can make your clients trip as affordable and convenient as possible.
Many people often overlook Australia as a cruise destination, but cruising can be a fun and easy way to explore the coastline of this remote continent. Some cruises start or end in Australia and include stops in Asia or New Zealand along the way. Islands are spread throughout the Pacific and if you're hoping to visit several of them, then Australia offers the perfect jumping off point. Some people prefer to combine a cruise of the the Pacific with a land tour of Australia. This allows them to see inland places such as Aires Rock and the Outback before they begin their exotic, tropical cruise.
Cruises in Australia can cater to all types. There are cruises that specifically cater to younger crowds or those with an adventurous spirit. There are also those aimed at an older population or couples looking for a romantic getaway. Some cruise lines specialize in luxury travel while others are more specifically focused on affordable options.
Ports can vary dramatically as well. Sydney is a beautiful and vibrant city with lots of shopping and activities. Cairns is a great destination for those interested in scuba diving and Airlie Beach is perfect for those looking for a beautiful beach setting.
There are also some river cruises available in Australia along the Murray River. These cruises last several days and alow visitors to experience the indigenous culture of the area. The boats are quite small and wildlife spotting is not uncommon. This is a unique way to get into the countryside of Australia.
New Zealand Cruises
New Zealand is a world renowned destination for its natural beauty and breathtaking scenery. It's also famous for its adventure sports and outdoor activities. Cruises to New Zealand are growing in popularity. There are peak travel seasons to the area and the majority of the cruises travel between the months of October and April. This corresponds to the summer season in the area. There are also a few cruises that travel during the months of April thru July during the winter months.
Most of the cruises in New Zealand also spend some time in Australia. These cruises, known as Trans-Tasman, allow visitors to experience both the North and the South Islands of the country. They usually begin in either Auckland or Sydney and visit a variety of ports around the country. The most popular ports of call include the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Fiordland. Some cruises also go to the Marlborough Sounds and Stewart Island.
If you have a client who is interested in doing something a little different and off the beaten path, they may be interested in an expedition cruise. These cruises often combine a few stops in larger ports with some smaller ports that are not included with the larger cruising options. Some popular stops on expedition cruises include the sub-Antarctic islands, White Island, Stewart Island or Kaikoura. Expedition cruises may be more expensive than the larger cruises because the ships are smaller and the travel is slightly less mainstream.
Fiji and Pacific Island Cruises
Cruising through the Pacific Islands is a perfect way to experience a diversity of island types. Cruises offer the greatest accessibility to the area with the minimum amount of effort. The islands in the Pacific can really be divided into three distinct types. The Melanesian Islands are most famous for their beautiful, clear water and white sand beaches. These islands include Fiji, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Torres Strait Islands and Vanuatu.
The Micronesian Islands offer some of the best scuba diving in the world. The reefs are beautiful and well preserved. The water is clear and the sea life is abundant and diverse. The Micronesian Islands include the Marshall Islands, Guam, Marianas, Palau, an the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Polynesian Islands include Hawaii, American Samoa, the Midway Islands, Tonga, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Easter Island. These islands have beautiful blue lagoons and wonderful snorkeling opportunities. Humpback Whales migrate through the area and sea turtles and dolphins are not uncommon.
Many cruises through the South Pacific leave from local ports in Fiji or Tahiti. Others leave from Australia or New Zealand. Cruises leaving from Fiji can run year around while those leaving from Australia or New Zealand usually run between October and March.