If you and your multigenerational brood dream of venturing to a land Down Under, you’ll be happy to know a leading small-ship cruise line is soon featuring new itineraries that will take you to the land of koalas, kangaroos and kiwi fruit.
For the 2020–2021 season, boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises will offer a total of nine departures dates to Australia and New Zealand. Six new cruises will set sail from November 2020 through February 2021 on the Star Breeze, an all-suite ship with balcony and ocean views that carries just 312 passengers and will undergo a massive renovation before the sailings to provide even more elegance and luxury. Amenities and upgrades will include a new pool and deck area, two new dining venues, a redesigned world-class spa and fitness center, 50 new suites touting new floorplans and a three-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom Grand Owner’s Suite that’s perfect for family travel.
“In our concerted and ongoing effort to be the small ship leader in destination delivery, I’m thrilled to introduce a completely different sailing region that further expands Windstar’s global footprint. Australia and New Zealand cruises will allow us to present these destinations in the most authentic way possible,” said John Delaney, president, Windstar, in a statement.
The new cruises are part of Windstar’s award-winning Signature Expeditions, which deliver experiential, immersive and intimate journeys. The Cairns to Melbourne itinerary takes cruisers to iconic destinations like Middle Percy Island, the UNESCO Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. New Zealand’s round-trip Auckland itinerary takes in both major cities and port towns in the North and South Islands including Wellington, Christchurch and Napier in the Hawke’s Bay wine-producing region; excursions offer the chance to sample an authentic Hāngi meal and Maori show of song and dance in Rotorua in the Hells Gate region, and a wildlife cruise and farm visit with local conservationists.
If you would like to be able to experience both countries, the Auckland to Sydney sailing takes in sights in Melbourne, penguins on Phillip Island’s harbor and a Catamaran cruise to Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Islands National Park.
And if you are seeking an even more intimate voyage, the 148-passenger Wind Spirit, currently based year-round in Tahiti, is expanding its South Pacific reach in the winter and spring of 2020 and will also visit Australia. Two seven-day ocean crossings will go from New Caledonia to Australia and Australia to Indonesia; the latter is a 16-day voyage visiting Cairns, Port Douglas, Thursday Island Yirrkala, Darwin and Australia’s northern coast.
The Australia and New Zealand cruises on the Star Breeze begin at $4,599 per guest, double occupancy, while the Wind Spirit’s Australia cruises start at $1,299 per guest, double occupancy. Bookings are open now; for more information check their website.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.