Explorer Dream is bringing more than a dozen new food and beverage venues, a state-of-the-art spa concept and a signature enclave with private suites and bespoke butler service to Australia in 2019. Here are eight things to love about Dream Cruises' newest ship.

1. Cruising From Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney

Dream Cruises has left other lines in its wake by offering Brisbane departures on Explorer Dream in late 2019 as part of the line's inaugural Australia and New Zealand program. You'll have to wait another year to board one of the other new, big-name ships sailing from Queensland when the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal opens in late 2020. Passengers can also board Explorer Dream from its main homeport of Sydney as well as Newcastle (on the NSW north coast).

2. Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Did you sail on SuperStar Virgo in Australia in the early 2000s? If so, get onboard for a trip down Memory Lane as this ship is fresh from an AU$80 million refurbishment and now sailing as Explorer Dream. Many Australians who sailed onboard SuperStar Virgo have already booked a cruise on the new-look ship to relive their holiday memories from days gone by.

3. Gaming at ESC Experience Lab

VR gaming is only available for youngsters in the children's play area on some lines. But why should kids have all the fun? Explorer Dream's VR/AR arcade gaming experience is open to guests of all ages. The ESC Experience Lab is packed with immersive gaming plus simulators, arcade games and bike racing arcade games. Play solo or invite friends and family to join the fun.

The Palace Restaurant (Photo: Dream Cruise Line)

4. Live It Up In The Palace

The Palace is an exclusive "ship-within-a-ship" with more than 40 suites, a dedicated dining venue, swimming pool, lounge, and chic Italian decor plus a team of Dream Butlers. Colourful cocktails, wine and other drinks are included in the cost of the fare. If you're staying in The Palace, your favourite tipple will even be delivered by a dapper tailcoat-wearing butler.

5. Asian Dining Galore

Explorer Dream really is a dream for cruisers who love Asian cuisine. Whether you prefer hot pot, dim sum, sweet and sour pork, tempura, sashimi, sushi or soba, or classic hawker market fare, this ship delivers. There's also an entertaining teppanyaki bar for those who enjoy dinner and a show. If you feel like a change there are plenty of Western-style dining options available onboard as well.

Bubble Football (Photo: Dream Cruise Line)

6. Teens Club With a Difference

If your teen rolls their eyes at the thought of yet another scavenger hunt, the teens' program in The Zone on Explorer Dream is for them. Dream Cruises mixes things up with activities such as Bubble Football, a team game involving zorb balls and the chance to 'accidentally' bump into cute boys and girls. There are also DJ mixing and hip hop classes and a '21st century dunking booth' called the Pitch Burst.

7. The Intimacy of a Smaller Ship

Carrying a maximum of just 1,856 passengers, Explorer Dream offers a more intimate cruise experience that lends itself to socialising and getting to know other passengers. If you prefer the feeling of sailing on a ship instead of a huge floating theme park, Explorer Dream will float your boat.

Seafood Grill by Mark Best (Photo: Dream Cruise Line)

8. Surf and Turf With an Ocean View

Explorer Dream's signature restaurant, Seafood Grill by Mark Best, combines Australia's love of surf and turf with ocean views. Pull up a chair at one of the shared tables for a Korean BBQ where you cook your choice of meat and vegetables or watch one of the master chefs strut their stuff on a large steel grill. This convivial dining experience is perfect to enjoy with family or newfound friends.