High Season: Late November to March
Quirks & Perks of Sailing in Season: More lines are bringing their ships to Oz, offering cruises both within the region and as part of larger South Pacific and world sailings. Winter in North America is summer in Australia, so expect near-perfect conditions in major ports of call like Sydney, Adelaide and Perth on the western side and a sub-tropical climate in the northeast Queensland region. It’s also typhoon season, however, which may affect some ports of call (such as Brisbane and Cairns) and lead to some rough sailing waters. Aussies often vacation between late December and late January, so expect big crowds and jammed ports during that time.
Low/Shoulder Season: May through September
Quirks & Perks of Sailing in the Off Season: While Australia’s climate varies widely, winter temperatures are rarely extreme; crowds are fewer, and there are bargains to be had, especially on larger ships and Great Barrier Reef cruises that are available year-round. The downside: Expedition cruises and sailings to Tasmania are often limited during the rainier months of June, July and August.