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suralottie

Can you cruise to or from US to NZ cheaply

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Hi- I am seriously thinking of retiring in January  2020 (I will be 65, my husband 72-we live in New Jersey) and have always wanted to go hiking in New Zealand (rent a car and travel around 3 weeks-hiking and site seeing). We were originally thinking of breaking up the flight by visiting my daughter in San Francisco for a few days on the way out and maybe stopping briefly in Hawaii on the way back. I have lots of miles on Alaska airlines to use. However after a wonderful cruise experience on the Noordam in Alaska this summer we are rethinking this. Ideally we'd like to cruise to or from New Zealand from the mainland US as a means of getting to or from New Zealand. We prefer our own independent land tour so do not want to sail around New Zealand.  Visiting islands in the Pacific would be wonderful but primarily we think it would be easier on our backs than flying and it would be exciting to cross the Pacific. 

 

Cruise ships change areas of the world they sail in at different times of the year-Is it possible to find an inexpensive cruise that crosses the Pacific from the west coast? Or other advice you could give? Ideally we'd like to sail in the winter or spring which is summer or fall in NZ. Thanks for any help you can give us.

 

Sue  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All depends on your definition of cheaply, but you certainly have a number of options.

 

In Sept/Oct and possibly Nov you will find a number of ships transiting across the Pacific from West Coast to Australia/New Zealand.

 

Your second option is World Cruise segments. Some originate in N/America and have a segment to Auckland and/or Sydney. You will also find World Cruises originating in Europe that have N/America to Australia/NZ segments. Most World Cruises are Jan/Feb.

 

A potential 3rd option would be looking for a cargo ship working that route.

 

There are a multitude of websites that list cruise schedules, or you can visit a cruise specialist travel agent. Cruise Critic rules prevent us naming TA's.

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To get an accurate answer you'd have to offer your expectation of "inexpensive."  To some that might be $700 pp, to others it could be $7000. 

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Heidi13 gave some good advice if you chose to cruise. 

I hear you about a long flight being hard on your back.  Some airlines are offering a product between coach and business class, usually called premium economy or something like that.    Most have seats that recline so maybe it wouldn't be too hard on your back.  Double and triple check with your airline if you choose this option

Another option is to fly and add the Hawaii stop on both ends, making an individual leg shorter.  Or, if you have enough miles, get a business class ticket on one of Alaska's partner airlines and make use of the lie flat seats.  

You can ask for help on the "cruise air" subform here on CruisCritic.

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Thanks for the responses! In terms of a cruise to New Zealand one way to or from the US-I would like to keep it under 1,300 at most per person for the base fee.  Guess I was visualizing a relatively straight repositioning sail without a lot of ports but that doesn't look really feasible for the spring of 2020. I looked online and most were for 2019-will keep checking-or were to other parts of the world. Perhaps someday I will take one across the Atlantic.

 

Heidi thank you for the idea of looking  into "segments" of  world cruises-I am going to look into that. I've begun asking friends for TA recommendations and will search online as well. We've always planned our trips on our own but it seems as if TA's may be able to get better prices or perks than I would for a cruise. 

 

The Other Tom-we will break up the time flying to New Zealand and def. will look into using miles into perhaps flying business class for the longer leg of the trip. Also looking into "stayover" flights which allow you to stop for a few days when you have a layover. I will know more after September when I will be retiring. Still thinking of January.

 

One nice thing about being retired will be the ability to travel off school schedule. My husband and I are making up our bucket lists and will see which ones coincide and start planning. We'd like to do our more active ones sooner-we love hiking, kayaking, museums, history and just walking around new places. Since our first cruise I am adding a South America-Antartica cruise to the top 5-we could do our hiking in Argentina before or after the cruise. Will have to learn more about budget traveling abroad to do the traveling we'd like to do. We are not getting any younger but we have our dreams and I'd like to make some of them into reality.

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On 8/27/2019 at 1:23 AM, suralottie said:

.......One nice thing about being retired will be the ability to travel off school schedule. My husband and I are making up our bucket lists and will see which ones coincide and start planning. We'd like to do our more active ones sooner-we love hiking, kayaking, museums, history and just walking around new places. Since our first cruise I am adding a South America-Antartica cruise to the top 5-we could do our hiking in Argentina before or after the cruise. Will have to learn more about budget traveling abroad to do the traveling we'd like to do. We are not getting any younger but we have our dreams and I'd like to make some of them into reality.

 

You hit the nail on the head about being able to travel off the school schedule.  We have been retired 15 years and have been working our way through our bucket lists and still adding to them.  Retirement is the gift of time and with all the time we need we often cruise back to the US after a land vacation as a way to avoid at least one long flight. 

 

If you do a good job with your bucket lists, you'll spend all of your kid's inheritance and that last check will bounce.  You can't take it with you.  After all, do you ever see a U-Haul truck following a hearse?

 

Get out there and ENJOY!

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I think most repositioning cruises sail to Sydney, but some sell legs just to Auckland 

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When looking at costs, consider looking at the per day cost rather then the overall cruise cost. Sometimes breaking it down that way makes what you thought was expensive much more reasonable.  

 

Also, time is on your side in retirement and no longer having to fly is a huge luxury.   The trip to get there becomes part of the overall trip and cruising somewhere is so much more enjoyable than flying.   You see more, adjust to time changes much easier and get to relax along the way.  

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This topic is very interesting to me😁.New Zealand and Australia are on my bucket list and I am retiring next year😁

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We took a transpacific cruise on the RCL Explorer of the Seas in October 2017 from Seattle to Sydney and found the 23 days to be both relaxing and entertaining with the shore excursions. Many of the people on that cruise we going on NZ cruise two days later. As far as flying, I have a bad back and two 'metal' knees and Delta Comfort was really the ticket. The 17 hour flight was quite pleasant to LA. Don't forget to use some compression socks to keep any leg pain and swelling down. Good luck in finding a cruise. I would just call the cruise lines directly or use a travel agent to shop around. Tell them what you want and see what they have.

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