16 Night Cruise sailing from Brisbane roundtrip aboard Sapphire Princess.
As you set your sights on the wonders of the world, let Sapphire Princess indulge your every whim. Over 700 balconies, world-class gourmet dining and dazzling entertainment options are just the beginning of your sea-going adventure. Dance the night away, enjoy casino gaming or relax and rejuvenate body and mind at the Lotus Spa.
Highlights of this cruise:
Once considered the country cousin among Australian cities, Brisbane is today the nation's third-largest metropolis - and one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Lying on the banks of the meandering Brisbane River, this cosmopolitan city boasts elegant 19th-century sandstone buildings, a lively cultural scene and superb parklands. Brisbane is also your gateway to uniquely Australian adventures, be it the theme parks of the Gold Coast or Queensland's dazzling beaches.
The beaches south of Brisbane form Queensland's Gold Coast. Travel tip: Brisbane is pronounced Bris-bin.
The capital of New Caledonia, Noumea is a little piece of France in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Before World War II, New Caledonia was a little known and seldom-visited French possession known for its penal colony and its natural resources. (Nickel smelting still plays a major role in the island economy.) Today, travelers are drawn to New Caledonia for its scenic beauty. The island is famed for its white-sand beaches while its barrier reef is the world's second longest. The offshore waters also offer superb diving and snorkeling.
In 1774, James Cook thought the island's rugged hills resembled those of his native Scotland. Hence he christened the island New Caledonia. The island and its outlying groups became a French colony in 1854 and an overseas department of France in 1956.
Less than two miles in length from north to south, Dravuni Island lies in the Kadavu Island group of Fiji. Its volcanic peaks give way to a remote village of just 200 or so friendly villagers who live amongst the island's shady palms. These welcoming locals and their children often sing to arriving visitors.
Well-worn trails scattered with coconuts snake around the unspoiled beaches, the soft sands beckoning underwater adventurers towards the crystal-clear waters. Many visitors come to snorkel in the Great Astrolabe Reef, or to hike Dravuni Island's highest peak for magnificent once-in-a-lifetime views of the surrounding islands.
The Fiji archipelago is at the cross roads of the South Pacific. In the days of sailing ships, it was known as The Cannibal Isles, where mariners carefully avoided its fierce warriors and perfidious waters. Thankfully, Fiji's pagan days live only in the tales recalled by tour guides - in rituals such as firewalking, Kava Ceremonies and in renditions of tribal drumming, dance and song.
Fiji is an exotic destination, with 333 islands that provide an exciting adventure or peaceful repose. The northwest region, where the sun shines almost every day and a tropical shower ends as quickly as it began, is home to the majority of the resorts. Suva, the political, administrative, educational and commercial center, has a backdrop of lush rainforest maintained by the inevitable tropical downpour. The people of Fiji are the most multiracial and multicultural of all South Pacific island countries - this being reflected in churches of all denominations, mosques, temples and shrines.
Built around a reef-protected natural harbor, Suva, with its colonial buildings nestled alongside modern commercial venues, shops and local markets, parks and residential sprawl, is home to nearly half of Fiji's urban population.
The second-largest city of Fiji, Lautoka is located in the west, on the island of Viti Levu. It is nicknamed The Sugar City due to its expansive sugarcane plantations producing the island's most important crop. Its soft-sand beaches are fringed with swaying palm and coconut trees reflected in the crystalline turquoise waters. A drive through the city center allows glimpses of tree-lined streets, colonial houses, colorful markets and a vibrant local culture.