Record Cruise Ship Numbers in Australian Waters Australia will welcome an unprecedented number of cruise ships this summer, with more than 40 vessels sailing in local waters – including eight ships making their maiden visits Down Under.
Among the flotilla will be the largest ship to visit Australia – Royal Caribbean’s 167,000-tonne Ovation of the Seas as well as the youngest and most luxurious ship ever to cruise here, the boutique Seabourn Encore, which will arrive in Australia just two weeks after it is officially named in Singapore.
Detailing the upcoming peak cruise season, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia Commercial Director Brett Jardine said a record 41 ships from CLIA member cruise lines would be based in Australia or visiting local waters between October 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, compared to 38 ships over the same period last year. Between them, the ships will make almost 900 calls to ports around Australia over that period – up 10 per cent on last year’s port calls numbers. With more than half the ships (23) offering return cruises from our shores, we will be able to take advantage of almost 400 roundtrip itineraries from local ports, a 20 per cent rise on last summer’s offerings.
The start of the cruise season which started on October 1 coincides with the beginning of the local cruise industry’s first ever Cruise Month promotion, which will see cruise lines offering great deals through cruise specialist travel agents. Highlights of the peak summer period include:
- The first international ship call for the summer season when Celebrity Solstice returns to Sydney on October 8
- The first maiden ship call for the summer season when Holland America Line’s Maasdam debuts in Sydney on October 20
- The inaugural Australian season of the largest Princess ship to sail from Australia this summer, the 3082-guest Emerald Princess, making her first Australian call in Fremantle on November 8, followed by Melbourne on November 13 and Sydney on November 15.
- The inaugural visit of the largest ship to visit Australia, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, arriving in Fremantle on December 6 to make the first of six maiden calls following her launch earlier this year
- The Australian debut of the ultra-luxury Seabourn Encore arriving in Darwin on January 22 and sailing down the Australian coast to reach Sydney on February 2 and Melbourne on February 4. In all she will make nine maiden Australian calls
- The first Australian visit of the luxury Azamara Journey, arriving in Darwin on February 8, the first of 12 maiden calls
- The debut of the 92,000-tonne Norwegian Star which will make seven maiden Australian calls commencing with Darwin on January 29
- The maiden Australian visit of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Europa 2 which will debut Down Under with her call to Hobart on December 26, making 13 inaugural calls around the country
- The inaugural visit of Oceania Cruises’ Sirena which will arrive in Sydney on March 6, 2017 and make eight maiden calls to local ports
- A Royal Rendezvous of Cunard’s remastered flagship Queen Mary 2 and her younger sister Queen Elizabeth in Sydney on February 25
- Queen Mary 2’s first ever visit to Tasmania with calls to Port Arthur on February 27 and Hobart on February 28
- Royal Caribbean’s first call to Wollongong with a visit by Radiance of the Seas on October 30
- The first ever round trip cruise to South America from Australia – an 84-night cruise by Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess departing Sydney on January 11, 2017.
What a great season we have to look forward to, JP.
Emerald Princess Begins Her Journey Down Under The biggest Princess Cruises’ ship to sail local waters this summer – the spectacular 3082-guest Emerald Princess – is now on her way down under after departing from Southampton.
Making the first of seven maiden Australian port calls in Fremantle on November 8, Emerald Princess will cruise via Melbourne on November 13, arriving at her new Sydney homeport on November 15.
Princess Cruises Vice President Australia & New Zealand Stuart Allison said the ship’s arrival would take the cruise line’s Australasian capacity to a record 11,800 berths across five ships during the 2016-17 cruise season.
“We’ve been basing ships down under for 15 years but the debut of Emerald Princess in the Emerald City will make this a summer to remember for Princess. With five of Princess’ 18 ships cruising local waters this summer, Australia ranks as the cruise line’s biggest market outside the United States,” Mr Allison said.
In exciting news for Australian holidaymakers, Emerald Princess will offer Award-winning Chef Curtis Stone’s new restaurant, SHARE as well as Princess’ new Salty Dog pub, serving up the Ernesto Burger – rated the best burger at sea – and gourmet small dishes developed with renowned US chef Ernesto Uchimura, combined with whisky flights. The superliner’s arrival will also set the stage for the debut of some great new entertainment offerings including the much-anticipated onboard musical Magic to Do from Oscar and Tony award-winning Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz.
Also on board are eight showrooms and lounges, two nightclubs and four swimming pools as well as signature Princess offerings such as the child-free Sanctuary, poolside Movies Under the Stars and the luxurious Lotus Spa.
Emerald Princess will spend her inaugural five-month season of cruises from Sydney sailing on 13 roundtrip cruises to destinations in the South Pacific, New Zealand and around Australia.
For more information visit www.princess.com, call 13 24 88 or see your licensed travel agent. Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to availability, changes of terms and conditions may apply. MORE: http://www.cruiseandtravelmagazine.net
Ovation of the Seas
Holland America Line’s Maasdam debuts