How to visit Australia without flying: Holland America launches new Grand Voyage

How to visit Australia without flying: Holland America launches new Grand Voyage


The long-haul flight can be enough to keep some U.S. travelers from visiting Australia. But a new Holland America Line itinerary will offer an alternate route.

The cruise line’s Grand Australia and New Zealand voyage will sail round-trip from San Diego, California in 2026, taking guests down under and back over 93 days.

“Our Grand Voyages are renowned for connecting guests with the world’s most fascinating places while sailing roundtrip from the United States,” Beth Bodensteiner, the line’s chief commercial officer, said in a news release. “Our team crafted this itinerary to show guests the parts of Australia and New Zealand they expect to visit, but also included frequently asked for, but rarely visited, ports throughout Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.”

When is Holland America’s Grand Australia and New Zealand voyage?

The cruise will depart on Jan. 4, 2026 aboard the line’s 1,432-guest Zaandam ship.

Where will the cruise sail?

The ship will visit 44 ports in 10 countries. Passengers will make their way to Hawaii first before heading to the South Pacific. The ship will then visit Australia – almost circling the country – and New Zealand, followed by Tonga and French Polynesia on the way back to San Diego.

The itinerary features two days of scenic cruising at the Great Barrier Reef and four late-night departures in Adelaide, Australia and the French Polynesian islands of Moorea, Raiatea and Huahine. Guests will also stay overnight in six ports, including Honolulu, Sydney and Auckland, giving them ample time to explore.

Short vs. long cruises: Which one is right for you?

How much does the cruise cost?

The cruise currently starts at $17,699 per person based on double occupancy, according to Holland America’s website. Travelers who book by June 16, 2025 can get perks like a Surf Wi-Fi package, airport transfers in San Diego, a 3% pay-in-full discount and more thrown in (though they vary by stateroom category).

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at

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