Cruise ships back for another season

Again this year the Port of Melbourne will be visited by a large number of cruise ships. Many of these will be in port only during the daylight hours as their passengers make one of the stops of their cruise. Other ships will be taking on or discharging passengers.

Of the 34 cruise ships expected during the season from October 20 to June 6, 16 will make only one visit. The most frequent visitor will be the P&O vessel Pacific Jewel, which will call on 20 separate occasions, while Golden Princess will make 14 visits and Pacific Eden will make 11.

  The new luxury cruise ship Viking Sun will arrive in Melbourne on February 8.

The new luxury cruise ship Viking Sun will arrive in Melbourne on February 8.

Among the 16 ships making just one call will be Viking Sun, on her maiden voyage. This voyage is a 141-day world cruise beginning on December 15 in Miami and ending in London on May 5. As the cruise is already booked out you won’t be able to enjoy the trip, but you might be able to find something else to do with the more than $50,000 per person it would have cost.

Viking Sun will cruise in the Caribbean, pass through the Panama Canal then continue on to Los Angeles. After visits to many Pacific islands and New Zealand, she will arrive in Melbourne on February 8. From here she will sail north to China, visit many Asian ports and pass through the Mediterranean to London. There will be 66 port calls, with 12 of these being overnight.

At 227m, Viking Sun is about two-thirds the length of Explorer of the Seas, which will be in Melbourne on December 11 and March 14.  While Explorer of the Seas accommodates more than 3000 passengers, Viking Sun caters for just 930 passengers. The lower passenger density, longer time spent in ports and wide range of luxury features makes a cruise aboard Viking Sun much more expensive.

Cruising has become an extremely popular way to have a holiday, and those who have a cruise on their bucket list should check the wide range of choices available. Your choice could range from a cruise on Viking Sun (or one of the several other luxury ships that will visit Melbourne) to a short two or three-night economy cruise. Cruising is not for everyone but its popularity keeps rising.

If you are interested in the cruise ships visiting Port Phillip, they can easily be identified with a check of the internet.