JP CruiseandTravelMagazine 25 March 2016 RCI


Gavin Smith and Adam Armstrong to Top Posts: Australia is the number one cruise country in the world, based on percentage of population. Our local cruising executives have been responsible for bringing new and exciting ships to our shores, two of whom have been recognised with senior appointments by Royal Caribbean International.

Adam Armstrong.jpg

RCL Cruises has announced the appointment of Gavin Smith to the role of Senior Vice President International, effective immediately.  Smith’s new role sees him responsible for all sales, marketing and commercial operations for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Australasia.

Adam Armstrong has been appointed Managing Director, RCL Cruises Australia and New Zealand, reporting to Gavin Smith and responsible for the business operations of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises in the region.

Azamara Quest.jpg

Gavin Smith opened RCL’s first Australian office in December 2008 as Managing Director, while Adam Armstrong joined soon afterwards as Commercial Manager.  Together, they have overseen a period of significant and continuous growth for RCL’s cruise brands in the region. “From a single locally-based ship in the much-loved Rhapsody of the Seas some eight years ago, Australia is now the home port for eight of the region’s largest and most modern cruise ships. RCI will usher in a new era for cruising down under when the brand new Ovation of the Seas arrives in December 2016,” Smith said. “It is a real pleasure to be handing on the responsibility for Australia and New Zealand to Adam.  With his wealth of experience in the Australian cruising market, I know he will do a tremendous job leading the team and continuing to drive growth across all three of our brands as we introduce newer and more modern cruise ships to the market,” he added. Adam Armstrong has over 15 years of experience in cruising.

 Celebrity Solstice 1.jpg

RCL Predicts Bumper 2016 Europe Cruise Season

In his new role as Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Adam Armstrong has just announced some of what we are to expect from RCI in Europe. Sister cruise lines Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises are preparing for a bumper Europe 2016 season, together offering 16 of the most modern and innovative cruise ships to sail Europe.

Over 25,000 Australians and New Zealanders will sail on the company’s trifecta of brands over 230 cruises in Europe. In 2008, that figure was closer to 5,000 guests, a huge five-fold increase that is testament to the strength of the demand for the world’s most modern cruise ships.

Those cruise ships will include the world’s newest and biggest megaliners, Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas for Royal Caribbean; four award-winning Solstice Class ships for Celebrity Cruises; and Azamara Club Cruises’ two boutique ships, sailing in Europe for the first time since their multimillion dollar bow-to-stern refurbishments.


Royal Caribbean’s nine Europe-based ships will call at 86 different ports during 119 sailings; Celebrity Cruises’ five ships will call at 92 different ports during 83 voyages; and Azamara Club Cruises’ two boutique sized cruise ships will call at an impressive 106 different ports during just 28 cruises.

The most popular European destinations for Australian travellers on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Azamara include Naples, Italy; St Petersburg, Russia and Santorini, Greece. The most popular embarkation port is Rome, which is the starting destination for a third of Australians choosing an RCL Cruises Europe itinerary, followed by Venice at 22% and Barcelona at 17% – all focused on Mediterranean itineraries. Southampton, predominantly servicing the Baltic Sea, follows close behind at 10%.

Azamara Highlights: Both of Azamara’s luxury boutique ships will be sailing Europe this season following their bow-to-stern revitalizations that will see them look and feel like brand new ships. Azamara Journey will sail the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea, calling at exotic ports in Croatia, Malta and Greece; while Azamara Quest will spend time sailing the Baltic and Norway before moving south to the Mediterranean.

Choose an 11-night ‘London to the Baltic’ cruise onboard Azamara Quest, priced from $3,599 per person and including a free Premium Beverage Package, up to USD$400 credit for shore excursions and unlimited internet, on top of the many inclusions that come as standard on the boutique cruise line. The sailing departs Southampton on 22 July and includes calls at Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn in Estonia, before arriving in Stockholm, Sweden*.

Celebrity Highlights: “Modern Luxury” brand Celebrity Cruises will have five ships sailing Europe in 2016, including some of the most awarded ships in the region and four Solstice-Class megaliners including Celebrity Eclipse, Equinox, Reflection and Silhouette, as well as Celebrity Constellation. Each ship will home port in a different location: Venice, Southampton, Barcelona and Rome, to ensure access to all the key European cruise destinations.

Choose a seven-night ‘Greece and Italy’ cruise onboard Celebrity Equinox, from $1,239 per person for a Balcony Stateroom, including a free Classic Beverage Package, up to USD$300 onboard credit and 50% reduced deposits. The sailing departs Athens on 18 June and includes calls at Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Ephesus in Turkey, before arriving in Istanbul*.

Royal Caribbean Highlights: Royal Caribbean will usher in a new era for cruising with the world’s two newest cruise ships sailing the waters of Europe. The incredible Harmony of the Seas – the world’s biggest cruise ship – will debut in Barcelona on a classic seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary, while Australia’s very own Ovation of the Seas will offer a short season from Southampton, sailing to France and Italy before she makes her way down under. Other Royal Caribbean ships based in Europe include Brilliance, Independence, Jewel, Navigator, Rhapsody, Serenade and Vision of the Seas. The line’s first Europe port of call will be Santorini in Greece, when Splendour of the Seas arrives on 15 April.

For more information about or to book a cruise, visit, or, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent. *Terms and Conditions apply: Offers available to book before 31 March 2015. For full terms and conditions for each offering, visit, or and conditions may apply to all offers. Not responsible for errors or omissions


Gavin Smith , Senior VP International, with Royal Caribbean ship in BG

Adam Armstrong MD Aust./NZ

Azamara Quest

Celebrity Solstice

Relaxing in RC library


About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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