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Seabourn Odyssey Barrier Reef & Bali, Brisbane Blog


We've hit our first port of call in Brisbane on board Seabourn Odyssey as she cruises from Auckland to Bali on this 19-dayer which is will take us through the Great Barrier Reef and onto some little known Indonesian islands.

We were among the 40 guests who embarked in Sydney, missing the three day crossing from Auckland, and even after just two days we've received a lot of envious messages from people who've experienced the Seabourn Odyssey class ships for themselves.

First impressions are that this is still the classic Seabourn experience: a beautiful ship that appears to have aged very little in three years, with attentive service of the highest standard.

We had a chance to explore Brisbane again, we've made a few trips here in recent years, and it's a city that seems to get better all the time and it's becoming a recognised holiday destination in its own right and not just an add-on for Sydney and Melbourne. It was all a bit different 20-25 years ago when Brisbane was a pretty sleepy place with not a lot going on. Between Saturday lunchtime and Monday morning the CBD used to be a bit of ghost town and you could see tourists wandering around and thinking "what the hell is going on and where is everybody?"

Nowadays Brisbane city and its surrounding suburbs has become a happening place with a real cafe scene along with some good restaurants and funky bars. It's mostly down to the inner city development of Brisbane which breathed new life into the area and the slew of apartment blocks on the Brisbane River and inner suburbs has created a new community which is thriving.

A lot of the crew from on board have taken the shuttle into town after their shifts to wander the streets and enjoy a few hours off, while the guests seem to have opted for an excursion to Australia Zoo at Beerwah, about an hour north of Brisbane.

This place was established by the late Steve Irwin and his family now runs this business.  We took a little look on another trip about two years ago and it's a great place for anyone who's never seen Australian wildlife before. It's more of a theme park American-style which foreign tourists love, but it's well laid out and you can also hand feed kangaroos and see koalas up close in their enclosure.

The rain has just started to set in so hopefully this all clears before we arrive at Hamilton Island on Sunday.

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