Close to Home Voyages – Cruise Traveller

Close to home

@PONANT: Nick Rains

Start planning your next small ship adventure – right in our own backyard

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.

“I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains.

I love her far horizons,

I love her jewel-sea,

Her beauty and her terror –

The wide brown land for me!” 

 – Dorothea Mackellar

Find the perfect close to home destination:

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.

“Fill your life with adventure, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” 

 – Unknown

Find the perfect close to home cruise line:


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.”

nicko cruises

nicko cruises are one of the leading suppliers for river and ocean cruises in Europe with a modern and comfortable fleet. The company is active on two continents and travels through all popular waterways, as well as several coastal sections.

Experience our stunning southern shores voyages through European eyes; aboard VASCO DA GAMA. Ports include Eden, Melbourne, Hobart, Milford Sound, as well as ports including Napier & Wellington, before you finish your voyage in Auckland.


Discover Azamara’s Australia and New Zealand cruises to experience what the rest of the world only imagines.

These exceptional voyages travel to destinations both familiar and far-flung — the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, New Zealand, Bali, Singapore and more.

From sophisticated Sydney to primitive Komodo, we encounter the legendary Tasmanian Devil and fearsome Komodo dragon, plus sharks, crocs and other toothy types. Visit lavender fields, sheep farms and a remote island full of pearls. Sip the nectar of coastal vineyards. Meet Aboriginal artists and uncover seal colonies rarely seen by humans.

Travel the diverse expanses of Australia and New Zealand with Azamara®’s destination experts. It’s more than just a far-ranging journey — it’s beyond all you imagined.


Seabourn pioneered small-ship, ultra-luxury cruising, and continues to represent the pinnacle of that unique style of travel.

Their fleet of intimate, all-suite ships, carrying between 458 and 600 guests each, sail to the world’s most desirable destinations at their peak seasons. On board, guests are served by an award-winning crew numbering nearly as many as the guests, hand-picked and extensively trained to deliver Seabourn’s signature style of thoughtful, personalized and heartfelt hospitality.

Seabourn’s ships attract accomplished people who enjoy traveling well, and sharing fun and adventures with other interesting people. A great many of them have found the Seabourn cruise experience to be their preferred method of travel, and return regularly to sail with us again and again.


Silversea creates exceptional ocean journeys with unique opportunities to explore remote ports-of-call from an intimate haven of incomparable luxury, each voyage a unique masterpiece. Discover genuine European expertise reflected in every detail, from our tranquil all-suite accommodation and uncompromising service to distinctive fine dining and a carefree all-inclusive philosophy.

Their guests hail from across the globe, yet share an appreciation for the spectrum of choice offered in Silversea’s array of exotic destinations and exclusive explorations ashore. By blending these elements together with enrichment experiences, each new port becomes more than a destination, it becomes a state of mind, transcending the traditional concepts of cruising. It is this distinction that has earned Silversea the reputation of World’s Best.


An adventure with the multi-awarded True North is not just another expedition-cruise!
We curate activity-based itineraries that are designed to satisfy the world’s most discerning travellers.

They specifically exclude sea-days and feature unparalleled access to stunning coastal environments and, unequalled opportunity to truly experience the destination. Our itineraries are intended to be life changing and it is little wonder that our guests often remark “that is the best holiday that I have ever had!


Variety Cruises combines amazing destinations, the yacht suitable to your liking, professional crew and exquisite cuisine always with a local flavor. The perfect ingredients to the ultimate yacht cruise experience. All of their small ships offer Ocean View cabins and 360° unobstructed views of the wonders of nature and splendors of the destinations visited. Deployed in the most authentic destinations worldwide.


Small Ships. Infinite Possibilities.

Step away from the crowds. Away from towering decks and a thousand people, or even more. Away from lines, from waiting, away from the whole idea of group travel.

Step into amazing places, relish intimate cultural experiences, and connect with the world, its people and yourself as only a small ship can help you do. This is your vacation, your own experience. As individual as you are.

Welcome to the world of small ship cruising — to Windstar’s graceful yachts, each one welcoming fewer than 300 lucky guests. With six beautiful yachts, Windstar gives you more true small ship choices than anyone in the world.


Each of their voyages are an invitation to discover your next travel story and reignite your passions. Experience faraway places that you have always dreamed of. Encounter new ways of looking at the world and travel to the far corners of the globe. Savour your experience with imaginative insider tours that immerse you in the heart of the destination’s culinary and cultural traditions.

Thousands of reasons – one passion. There are as many reasons to travel as there are travellers in this world. It’s your turn to embrace your passion for travel with Oceania Cruises.


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is one of the leading suppliers of premium and luxury cruises in German speaking countries. A selection of their cruise itineraries are offered as bi-lingual (INT) cruises (German/English).

Their expedition and luxury cruise ships, each with its own special character, offer hundreds of destinations, on-board and shore programmes with something for everyone whatever the spontaneous mood, attractive cruise combinations, short trips to get your feet wet as well as long voyages for epicures and experts. Flexibility and tremendous variety are outstanding characteristics of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. 


Ambassadors for conservation, pioneers of discovery, and leaders in expedition travel to the world’s best-kept secrets. For more than 35 years, Heritage Expeditions has pioneered conservation-driven small ship expedition cruises to some of the most wild, least-explored and biologically rich regions on the planet including Antarctica,  Arctic, Russia’s Far East, South Pacific, Australia’s Kimberley region, New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, and coastal New Zealand.

Get in touch with our team of experts

Need some help finding the perfect cruise? Contact our friendly team of small ship cruise specialists today.

    Murray River Paddlesteamers Ponant Nicko Cruises Azamara Seabourn Silversea True North Variety Cruises Windstar Cruises Oceania Cruises Hapag Lloyd Cruises Heritage Expeditions

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