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MajMom96

Is the Australia/New Zealand itinerary worth the flight?

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Hello fellow cruisers! We’ve done quite a few cruises on Holland America to Europe, Alaska, Caribbean, and Mexico. For 2020 we’re looking into booking an itinerary for Australia and New Zealand. My concern is the long airplane flight and whether the itinerary justifies 16 hours on an airplane (each way). We’ve been to Australia before and loved it, but the airplane flight was terrible, especially crammed into coach! If you’ve done this itinerary, please let me know what your favorite sites were. We love exploring ports. TIA!

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On our last trip to Australia we stopped in Thailand and Malyasia prior to flying into Gold Coast AIrport.

 

Coming home we flew to Hawaii, spent two days there, and then flew home.

 

We typically combine a land trip with a cruise. We may go back this winter and will probably do the same route.

 

This past winter we splurged and did the flat beds for our 17 hour Singapore flight. It was heaven compared to coach. We returned on coach via Hong Kong.

 

We very much enjoyed Australia. Would we fly all that way just for a cruise. No. We will only do this for an extended trip.

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Hello fellow cruisers! We’ve done quite a few cruises on Holland America to Europe, Alaska, Caribbean, and Mexico. For 2020 we’re looking into booking an itinerary for Australia and New Zealand. My concern is the long airplane flight and whether the itinerary justifies 16 hours on an airplane (each way). We’ve been to Australia before and loved it, but the airplane flight was terrible, especially crammed into coach! If you’ve done this itinerary, please let me know what your favorite sites were. We love exploring ports. TIA!

 

The flights id whats holding us from going to Australia from Vancouver Canada. Because of bad knees I need premium economy or business. Flights make the cruise not viable.

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I have flown from the US east coast both to Auckland and to Sydney; the first trip also had a flight back from Singapore to the east coast.

Yes, those flights were worth it, at least to me.

 

Both times going I flew to Los Angeles, stayed over one night, then took the flight down under. Since there are not a great deal of time zones---the distance is north/south rather than east/west---it was not a hard recovery physically. One night pre-cruise was sufficient. IIRC, my first time I went premium coach (or whatever it's called on that airline), and it was much, much better than economy coach. I highly recommend you upgrade at least to premium coach.

 

I loved New Zealand, especially the south island. The landscape, history, architecture, and especially the people, were grand. My day sailing the three Sounds was spectacular! Everyone should have such a day there as I was blest to have.

Australia was much hotter, and got more so the further north the ship went, but the time at the Great Barrier Reef was worth it.

 

Save your pennies for upgraded seating, take a deep breath, and take the long flights while you still can. The body isn't getting any younger!

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Last time we came back on a one way ticket. Cruise air pricing was out of sight. We selected a Jetstar (budget airline owned by Qantas) flight to Hawaii. As luck would have it, it turned out to be a code share with Qantas.

 

My spouse had cracked several vertabrae a month earlier in Malaysia so the thought of a long flight was not appealing. The two day stopover in HNL was wonderful. The savings on the flight more than paid for these two days. Then we picked up an AC flight home to Canada. It was all coach but we did not mind it given the stopover. We plan to do this again.

 

As an aside.....booking our cruise in Australia vs using our usual on line North American TA saved us about 30 percent.

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Have made the flight 5 times, once for a cruise, the rest for land tours. We love Australia and New Zealand. Obviously we think it is worth it. The first 3 times were in coach, the 4th time was in Business, and the 5th in First, for our 30th anniversary.

 

Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.

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A few years ago, we flew Hawaiian Air out of Sydney. They had a Sydney-Honolulu-LA flight that gave you a 24-hour layover in Honolulu. Broke it up nicely. As I recall the price was also well below the major carriers.

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Loved Australia and New Zealand trip. Left from Seattle, after flying cross country from Florida.

 

Flew home from Auckland, but splurged on business c lass. Well worth it.

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Business class is a must, no compromise. Our best travel friend is our consolidator agent.

Agree you need to combine a cruise with other land trips.

Take the trip in stages. Fly to LA a day prior, even if time zone is not an issue. You cannot miss a flight to any of the pacific destinations. Flights tend to be fully booked and there may be only one flight a day per airline.

Air New Zealand offers a free stay over in Fiji.

You could also stop in Tahiti and relax in a resort there.

Our go to stop over is Hawaii.

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Yes!!

This past November we flew from LAX to AKL and took a 22 Day South Pacific Cruise from roundtrip from Auckland.

First time flying such a long flight I didn't think Id be able to handle it but it honestly wasn't that bad. Watched about 6 movies and the flight was over LOL

 

New Zealand was beautiful. Although I was only there 1 day pre cruise, I would definitely fly back to New Zealand to visit. And if you are a US Citizen, a visa is not required to visit (unlike Australia)

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You can always do a transpacific cruise going or coming, cutting the flight needs to one way. We just took a cruise back from Sydney stopping a New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and American Samoa on the way.

 

There were some very good prices out of Honolulu to Sydney this last year, have not checked lately.

 

If you are going to fly there, spend some time in addition to just doing one cruise.

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I have flown from the US east coast both to Auckland and to Sydney; the first trip also had a flight back from Singapore to the east coast.

 

Yes, those flights were worth it, at least to me.

 

 

 

Both times going I flew to Los Angeles, stayed over one night, then took the flight down under. Since there are not a great deal of time zones---the distance is north/south rather than east/west---it was not a hard recovery physically. One night pre-cruise was sufficient. IIRC, my first time I went premium coach (or whatever it's called on that airline), and it was much, much better than economy coach. I highly recommend you upgrade at least to premium coach.

 

 

 

I loved New Zealand, especially the south island. The landscape, history, architecture, and especially the people, were grand. My day sailing the three Sounds was spectacular! Everyone should have such a day there as I was blest to have.

 

Australia was much hotter, and got more so the further north the ship went, but the time at the Great Barrier Reef was worth it.

 

 

 

Save your pennies for upgraded seating, take a deep breath, and take the long flights while you still can. The body isn't getting any younger!

 

 

 

Thanks so much for the suggestions!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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As an aside.....booking our cruise in Australia vs using our usual on line North American TA saved us about 30 percent.

Do you have any recommendations on who to book through? (I had also wondered this recently about cruises out of Amsterdam, if there were agencies there that had any better prices and if a US traveler could go through them). Thanks!

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Have made the flight 5 times, once for a cruise, the rest for land tours. We love Australia and New Zealand. Obviously we think it is worth it. The first 3 times were in coach, the 4th time was in Business, and the 5th in First, for our 30th anniversary.

 

 

 

Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.

 

 

 

I agree it’s all up to me on assessing whether it’s worth it. I was really wondering about what unique sites would make the airplane flight worth it. I’ve snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef, but I’m not very familiar with what there is to see in New Zealand, other than I know it is beautiful scenery. What are some of your favorite spots in NZ?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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sysemar...no. We had a price from our on line North American TA. Then we tried an Australian online TA. No joy. Then we called the cruise line's (RCI) Australian number (we were travelling in Australia). Their price was less, even more so after a seniors discount that apparently was not available if booking with a NA travel agent. The senior's discount alone on this 21 day cruise was $400AUD each. After the agent retrieved our cruise history, with ages, he offered us an identical cabin two or three doors down that was in the so called 'seniors pool'. We grabbed it.

 

This may have been a fluke but we sometimes realize substantial saving by booking air, hotels, trips, etc. outside of the country. We keep an international long distance calling card expressly for that purpose.

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Yes it is worth it we have flown twice US return and twice one way flights from Sydney. We have not had a bad flight yet. We fly economy comfort.

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I've never done it because of the long flights required. A world cruise finally got me there this year. If I were to go by air I wouldn't do it for just an Australia/New Zealand cruise unless it also included a good land tour too.

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We found that using HAL’s flightEase program we could afford business class. We’ve done 2 cruises there with the next one coming up next March.

Both Australia and New Zealand are amazing and the locals are absolutely the friendliest we’ve met.

Other than a few unnamed Canadians that we had the pleasure of cruising with!!

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Agree that booking air through HAL ought to provide one with better Business Class air pricing than what one can find on one's own. I was able to specify the airline, date, receive seat assignment and get a decent price.

 

Australia and New Zealand are so worth the effort to visit them! I have been there three times and am considering another visit. Extremely hospitable citizens and interesting scenery combined with delicious lamb and seafood dishes and superior wines are reasons to go.

 

I broke my trip up by an overnight at LAX before boarding my Air New Zealand flight to AKL. After getting into the hotel in the morning, I did some sightseeing, had an early dinner, and went to bed 9:00-10:00 AKL time, and experienced no jet lag. Returning home from Singapore with a 2 day stopover in San Francisco was a different jet lag story, however.

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Agree that booking air through HAL ought to provide one with better Business Class air pricing than what one can find on one's own. I was able to specify the airline, date, receive seat assignment and get a decent price.

 

Australia and New Zealand are so worth the effort to visit them! I have been there three times and am considering another visit. Extremely hospitable citizens and interesting scenery combined with delicious lamb and seafood dishes and superior wines are reasons to go.

 

I broke my trip up by an overnight at LAX before boarding my Air New Zealand flight to AKL. After getting into the hotel in the morning, I did some sightseeing, had an early dinner, and went to bed 9:00-10:00 AKL time, and experienced no jet lag. Returning home from Singapore with a 2 day stopover in San Francisco was a different jet lag story, however.

 

 

 

Thanks for the great info! I live in LA, so that’s at least one leg of the trip covered!

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No-one can judge for anyone else whether the trip is worth the flight. I'm an American living in Australia and make the flight at least once a calendar year, sometimes heading to the US through SFO and sometimes through Vancouver to meet my family in Quebec for a cruise. I tend to fly Air New Zealand, and find the coach service comparable to coach service on American domestic airlines, with the exception that in-flight entertainment and meals are included in the price. US domestic airlines have deplorable trans-Pacific service in my experience, I would definitely recommend using an Australian airline or Air New Zealand.

 

As for the cruise being worth it, only you can answer that, but I will say that my experiences in Adelaide and Kangaroo Island were so incredible that I cannot imagine ever forgoing them just because of possibly uncomfortable trans-Pacific flights. The flight is not significantly more onerous or horrid than a trans-Atlantic flight, and while longer, is certainly no worse than a bumpy flight across the US mainland.

 

But as I say, only you can make up your mind as to whether the cost of the flight (both monetary and intangible) is worth it for you.

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Perhaps I should rephrase my question since I’m getting a few snarky replies because of my phrase “is it worth it”. That was actually a poor choice of words since I know that only I can determine the worth of my time and comfort. What I really want to know is for those who have been to New Zealand, what would you consider to be the “must see” sites and ports?

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Perhaps I should rephrase my question since I’m getting a few snarky replies because of my phrase “is it worth it”. That was actually a poor choice of words since I know that only I can determine the worth of my time and comfort. What I really want to know is for those who have been to New Zealand, what would you consider to be the “must see” sites and ports?

 

Fjordland National Park with a cruise that includes sailings through Doubtful, Dusky, and Milford Sounds in New Zealand. In New Zealand, Napier, if one enjoys wine tours in both New Zealand and Australia that include visits to their winerys, Christchurch, Wellington with their Botanical Garden, a national Museum, and an interesting Maritime Museum, in Auckland Hop On/Off Bus Tour will take you to so many places that you will have difficulty deciding where to "stop" and "for how long". An evening at the Restaurant and Lounge at the top of the Sky Tower at Sundown: A glass of an excellent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc overlooking the Auckland Harbor as the Sun sets: Memorable!

 

Australia: Sidney--a performance at the Opera House, a visit to The Rocks, visits to Darling Harbor, the Australian Maritime Museum, a Hop On/Off tour with stops where the fish market and Chinatown are located as well as Bondi Beach, a walk downtown and shopping, and the Botanic Gardens. Those are my memorable highlights.

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Australia: Sidney--a performance at the Opera House, a visit to The Rocks, visits to Darling Harbor, the Australian Maritime Museum, a Hop On/Off tour with stops where the fish market and Chinatown are located as well as Bondi Beach, a walk downtown and shopping, and the Botanic Gardens. Those are my memorable highlights.

 

This is how people differ. My experience in Sydney was that it's just a big city. Sure the harbor is nice, but there is nothing in Sydney you can't see in other places. And the acoustics in the Opera House and known to be awful - both performers and opera buffs have admitted that. I would always recommend skipping Sydney in favor of a visit to Adelaide, but that's just me. Most Americans think of only visiting Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru if they have a bit more time, but there is so much more to Australia. The same way there is so much more to the US than New York, Los Angeles and Disney World.

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Fjordland National Park with a cruise that includes sailings through Doubtful, Dusky, and Milford Sounds in New Zealand. In New Zealand, Napier, if one enjoys wine tours in both New Zealand and Australia that include visits to their winerys, Christchurch, Wellington with their Botanical Garden, a national Museum, and an interesting Maritime Museum, in Auckland Hop On/Off Bus Tour will take you to so many places that you will have difficulty deciding where to "stop" and "for how long". An evening at the Restaurant and Lounge at the top of the Sky Tower at Sundown: A glass of an excellent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc overlooking the Auckland Harbor as the Sun sets: Memorable!

 

Australia: Sidney--a performance at the Opera House, a visit to The Rocks, visits to Darling Harbor, the Australian Maritime Museum, a Hop On/Off tour with stops where the fish market and Chinatown are located as well as Bondi Beach, a walk downtown and shopping, and the Botanic Gardens. Those are my memorable highlights.

 

 

 

Thank you, rka! All sound great! Now I have a basis for doing some additional research. Wine! That’s definitely something I can get behind! 🥂

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