Travel in Australia and New Zealand
Traveling from Australia to Europe doesn't have to be just about hopping on an airplane. You can take the slow route, enjoy the journey, and choose from traveling by railway or cruise to your destination. However, if you choose to fly, many options are available and allow for a great deal of interesting stops along the way.
Fly. This is the most obvious way of getting to Europe from Australia. With a little flexibility you can obtain a lower price. Using websites for Qantas, the major Australian airline, and Expedia can lead you to some serious bargains. However for the best fares, you must be willing to book flights that stop in Auckland, New Zealand, before heading on to your destination and be willing to fly out of Melbourne, Australia, instead of Sydney. If you can fly through Hong Kong, you will find better bargains as well. It is advised to book any flight out of Australia as much as six months in advance, and check with the airlines to see if you can use your frequent flier miles.
Take a cruise. Enjoy the long way to get from the Land Down Under to Europe and enjoy yourself in the process. Although not the fastest way to get to Europe, a cruise will provide for all of your meals and accommodations on the journey and provide you with world class entertainment. Just join an ongoing around the world cruise with companies such as Crystal Serenity and Holland America, which specializes in cruises to Australia. You can find good prices on such cruises by going to their websites or calling the companies to ask about discounts such as taking over a cabin for a passenger who had to cancel their trip. No regular passenger lines frequent Australia as a way of transportation to the European Continent, so if you plan to take a cruise you will need to join a round the world cruise for the leg of their journey from Australia to Europe. On average, cruises such as these cost about $150 a day.
Take a freighter. Many freight companies will accommodate up to 12 passengers on board their ships as a way of making extra income with little overhead. Although activities are less than on cruise ships, freighters come with good accommodations including en-suite bathrooms, refrigerators, television, lounge and dining room. Although freighters have an age limit---usually no older than about 75---these can provide an interesting and roundabout way to get to Europe for comparatively little cost. Try Freighter World Cruises and most of all, the definitive guide to freighter cruising, Seaplus.com.
Take the train. Seriously. It requires careful planning, but can lead you through a tour of Southeast and Central Asia like none other. Since Australia has no regular passenger ships by sea, you will have to consider either flying to Singapore and taking the train from there, or obtaining passage on a freighter ship from Brisbane to Singapore, which can take about two weeks. You will move from Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand, by train, and then to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for an overnight stay. From there you travel to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam, then on to Beijing, China, and Moscow, Russia, and then on to the destination of your choice. Needless to say, this is a trip for the adventurous, and takes about two weeks once you have arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. For concise directions on how to travel on the Trans-Siberian express, consult Seat 61.com or Trans-Siberia.com, both written by professional travel writers who have made the trip many times.