Celebrity Cruises has its sights on Down Under next season when Celebrity Solstice sails Australia and New Zealand's waters into winter 2012-13. While full details won't be disclosed until March 23, 2011, when 2012-13 itineraries go up for sale, here's a preview of what's to come.
Fresh off a tour of the Mediterranean throughout 2012's summer, the 2,580-guest Celebrity Solstice will arrive in Sydney Harbour in early December, to begin the season with a series of 12- and 13-night sailings between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. Look out for a circumnavigation of Australia, including two sailings between Sydney and Perth (Fremantle). We like the overnight stays in Sydney.
Complementing its new season, Celebrity Solstice will feature a series of a series of destination-focused onboard activities, some of which will be complimentary. We recommend considering from among the local vineyard and wine shore excursions, onboard lectures by local cultural entertainers and speakers, and destination-focused food and drink menus.
Cruisers who are considering a land-based vacation with a cruise can take advantage of Celebrity's Australia/New Zealand's cruise tour program. Four- and five-night pre- and post-cruise escorte land tour packages in Australia will include visits to Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef), Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Sydney. Alternately, as part of the line's six-night pre-cruise New Zealand package, tour Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Sydney. Our favorite is the full-day tour over the Great Barrier Reef and a gourmet barbecue dinner under the outback sky in Ayers Rock, though local tour directors lead all of Celebrity's cruise tours and hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfast and some additional meals are all included.
For more information, visit www.celebritycruises.com.