Close to Home Cruises – Cruise Traveller

@PONANT: Nick Rains

One of the best kind of holidays is one that makes you feel a world away, without having to go far at all. With a collection of magical ports right on our doorstep, Australia and New Zealand are the perfect cruising destinations complete with sparkling seas, swaying palms, amazing food and wine, abundant wildlife and authentic cultural encounters, all with the laid back vibe we are renowned for. Here are some of our favourite close to home cruise lines and destinations.


The majestic PS Emmylou is one of the most recognisable and iconic Paddlesteamers in Australia, cruising the Murray River from Echuca, just 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne.

Named after the American country singer Emmylou Harris, PS Emmylou has been host to thousands of people, delighting even her namesake. PS Emmylou starred in the TV series All the Rivers Run in which she was renamed the PS Providence. Powered by a beautifully restored 1906 Marshall and Sons steam engine, Emmylou is now the only wood fired Paddlesteamer in the world offering regular scheduled accommodated river cruises.


Mick Fogg, Expedition leader for PONANT Cruises describes the Kimberley as:

“It’s like nowhere else on earth, a wild land of remote, spectacular scenery spread over vast distances, it’s the Antarctica of the tropics. The sheer size and age of the landscape is humbling and it is a privilege to experience such a pristine environment that has so many facets.The Kimberley is one of the world’s last great Wilderness areas, and one of Australia’s greatest natural assets. It is a destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.”

Western Australia

Australia’s stunning West Coast is as beautiful as it is diverse. From the marine wonders of Ningaloo Reef in the North, to the lush wine region of the South, you’ll discover historical ports, remote beaches with powder white sand and turquoise waters, rich marine life, world class wineries and amazing local seafood.

New Zealand

With endless bays, stunning fjords and dramatic coastlines, New Zealand is perfectly suited to exploration by small ship. From the towering Southern Alps, thick rainforests and deep fjords of the South Island to the rich Maori heritage and warm sand beaches of the north, New Zealand is one of the most diverse cruising destinations on earth.

The Kimberley

Explore the rugged, untouched beauty of Australia’s Kimberley Coast. Led by an expert expedition team, you’ll enjoy guided Zodiac shore excursions to discover immense gorges, cascading waterfalls, fresh water rock pools, ancient Aboriginal rock art and abundant marine life including the infamous the salt water crocodile.

Sub-Antarctic Islands

Discover the wild and untouched beauty of the Sub-Antarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand. Often described as the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Sub-Antarctic Islands are among some of the best preserved and protected environments on the planet where you will see scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on earth.

Southern Australia

With lush vineyards, quaint villages, rugged coastlines and amazing local produce, Tasmania and the Southern Australia coast is an ideal destination for food and nature lovers alike. Highlights include famous wildlife haven Kangaroo Island, off the Coast of South Australia and the Tamar Valley, edged with fertile hills and wine estates.

The Murray River

The Murray River region is famous for its amazing food and wine, fascinating history, natural beauty and much more. Meander down the Murray onboard a traditional paddlesteamer, docking at quaint towns along the way to sample sumptuous local produce and wander through charming art galleries and museums.

All Close to Home Cruises

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