Costco cruises to Australia and/or New Zealand are difficult to find. They aren’t as hard to find as Costco cruises to Antarctica, which despite indications to the contrary do not seem to exist, but they are essentially hidden on the Costco Travel website. This would make a degree of sense if Australia and New Zealand only ever served as incidental stops along a much longer cruise (e.g., a world cruise), but this isn’t the case. Indeed, Costco explicitly advertises Australia and New Zealand as cruise destinations, but then makes these cruises hard to unearth (which presumably isn’t intentional). For this reason, we have composed a guide to Costco’s cruises to Australia and New Zealand. If you follow this guide when booking your cruise through Costco, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration.
To begin, we should note that what follows is an explanation for finding cruises to Australia and New Zealand on the Costco Travel website. If you don’t feel like dealing with the website at all, you can always call Costco Travel directly (1-877-849-2730). Generally, we would recommend at least browsing the website to get an idea of what’s available, but given that this is fairly cumbersome when it comes to cruises to Australia or New Zealand, you may just want to work directly with a travel specialist who works for Costco. The one thing that is probably worth checking out in any case is the Australia and New Zealand page of the Costco Travel website. In general, this page is not especially helpful, but it at least lists the “featured deals” associated with Australia and New Zealand. Costco’s featured deals can be excellent, so we always recommend checking them out as part of your vacation research.
Despite the existence of a page for Costco cruises to Australia and New Zealand, you cannot enter either place as a destination when using the search tool on the Costco Travel site. This is frustrating, as this means that you can’t simply search for Costco cruises to Australia and New Zealand in the same way that you can search for, say, Costco cruises to Alaska. The latter is a destination you can select using the search tool, and when you select it, a list of all the cruises to Alaska are generated, exactly as one would expect, but this isn’t possible for Australia or New Zealand.
What are you to do? The one good workaround we’ve figured out is that you can search for cruises to all destinations using the search tool. Somewhat unfortunately, you have to select a month of departure, but this can later be expanded to cover a range of three months. As an example, suppose you want to take an Australian cruise in November of 2015, to pick a totally arbitrary date. In this case, you would need to select “November 2015” as your only search criterion using the search tool, and then search. This will generate hundreds of results because you are searching for cruises to every destination to which Costco sails in November. However, after the results have been generated, you can filter them by port, and some of these ports are in Australia (and New Zealand). So, in the November 2015 example, you’ll be confronted with a list of over 400 results, but when you filter your results by selecting all Australian ports that offer cruises during this month (Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney), you’ll be left with only 12 cruises that depart from these ports. You have, in short, targeted the cruises to Australia (or in this case the cruises that go from and back to Australia). For the record, the Australian ports you can filter your searches with are Brisbone, Melborne, Perth, and Sydney, and New Zealand port is Aukland. It also worth mentioning that some Australian cruises come up when you search for cruises to the South Pacific (which makes sense) or cruises to Hawaii (which doesn’t make sense), but if you do this, you haven’t targeted cruises to Australia specifically and you have to search through more results to find them. For the most targeted results, it is best to filter your search by port.
Although this is a good workaround, we’ll conclude by mentioning one further limitation that you might confront. When filtering results by port, you are actually filtering by departure port, so you won’t get results for cruises that merely stop by a port in Australia, but don’t depart from there (in the sense that the ship doesn’t begin its journey there – obviously a ship technically departs from every port it visits). Thus, even filtering by port won’t get you every cruise that involves Australia (like longer cruises from Asia that dip into Australia or world cruises that visit basically every continent), but it will at least give you cruises that depart from Australia. This isn’t perfect – a filter by destination port would be ideal – but at least you’ll be able to find Australian cruises when you use the Costco Travel site.