Q – Greatly enjoy the honest-speak on this terrific site. We’re rather newbies when it comes to cruising and, to celebrate my retirement, the Mrs. and I are seriously considering a cruise on the Seabourn Encore from Auckland to Sydney that runs 16-days departing on January 5th. Our goal is to see as much of these two “sister” countries as we can (we’re Canadians) in just over two weeks. The cruising idea came to us as a way to see more in less time. I am much more interested in experiencing Australia while she is more interested in meeting Kiwis. Would appreciate your thoughts.

A – Well, first, we would suggest you not encourage your wife to meet too many Kiwi’s – particular the ones who play for the All Blacks Rugby Team. 

The Encore is a beautiful new ship and this itinerary is offered at the right time of the year. This is a rather unusual sailing down under int hat it offers far more ports in New Zealand than it does in Australia, so you may be really disappointed. The 16-day itinerary also gives you seven days at sea. So, we might argue that you are going to be seeing absolutely nothing 44% of your time.  This one can be argued on several levels. If you really want to maximize your time ashore and see the most in 16-21 days, we would far prefer you looked at a well-modulated land tour that divides its time between both countries. This cruise makes sense if you have a strong desire to see New Zealand and then, perhaps, adding a week or so at the back end in Sydney. But we have a hard time dismissing those seven days at sea unless you are traveling with a collection of personal friends.