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OUR NEW FLEET
OUR NEW FLEET
Words Nahrain John
Moreships. Better deals. That ’s
what Australian cruisers can look
forward to in the coming wave
season, with not only a record number of
ships to be based here but also more being
home-ported in ports other than Sydney.
Cruise lines and their representative
body CLIA have already announced record
numbers for Australian cruising last season,
and these latest developments will almost
certainly see the industry edging closer to the
target of 1 million Australian cruisers a year.
The moves are also likely to spark a new
battle to lure passengers. Expect special offers
and deals. With some 13,000 additional
cabin nights to fill, tempting more to trial a
holiday at sea is expected to become the new
battleground between the big players: P&O
Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
Home-porting is the latest weapon in this
battle. Traditionally, Sydney has been the
chosen home port for cruise ships, helping
to boost demand from foreign cruisers who
demand the Harbour Bridge and Opera
House as part of their itineraries.
However, things are quickly changing.
Over the past few months there has been
a major shift, with cruise lines basing more
vessels in ports other than Sydney.
Ten ships from Royal Caribbean, Princess
Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Portuscale
Cruises, P&O Cruises and Celebrity Cruises
are scheduled to call Australia home for the
first time over the next two wave seasons –
and at least four of these will not be home-
ported in Sydney. Azamara Club Cruises will
also make its first foray into Australia in 2016
when Azamara Quest will operate a series of
South Pacific cruises.
While NSW accounted for 42.9 per cent
of Australian cruisers in 2012, figures show
passenger numbers are strong in Queensland,
which made up 21.8 per cent. Victorian
passengers accounted for 16.3 per cent.
Although cruisers from Western Australia
didn’t have direct access to the larger Royal
Caribbean and P&O Cruises ships, they
still managed to rank as the fourth-largest
passenger group, making up 9.2 per cent of
In April this year Princess Cruises
announced plans to send the 2,590-passenger
Golden Princess to Melbourne and the
1,990-passenger Sun Princess to Fremantle
for the 2015/16-summer season. This was
quickly followed by Royal Caribbean’s
decision to base the 2,074-
passenger Legend of the
Seas in Brisbane during the
Then, in May, small-
ship Portuguese cruise
line Portuscale Cruises
announced plans to
send the refurbished
Funchal to Australia.
The 580-passenger ship
is scheduled to arrive in
January 2015 for cruises
out of Geelong and Newcastle.
And, further boosting cruising capacity
in the region, two 1,258-passenger ships
will join P&O Cruises’ Australian fleet in
November next year.
Carnival Australia (operator of P&O
Cruises) chief executive Ann Sherry says
Australians can expect to see more of the
blue-and-white ships around the country.
“ We need to home-port the new ships in
other areas of Australia, so our strategy is
going to be to look at all of the potential
home ports around the country and work
out what works for us,” she said. “ The more
we can put ships on people’s doorsteps, the
easier it is for them to cruise.”
Royal Caribbean International's
commercial director (Asia Pacific), Sean
Treacy, said the decision to base Legend of the
Seas in Brisbane was in response to passenger
demand for cruising from the destination.
“Legend of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s
first-ever Australian ship to be home-
ported outside of Sydney,” he said. “ We
have enjoyed strong demand from our
Queensland guests and from international
guests who have expressed interest in
cruising out of Brisbane.”
But Sydneysiders need
not feel left out, because
Royal Caribbean has
reworked its Sydney-
based ships, replacing
Rhapsody of the Seas with
Explorer of the Seas.
For the coming
2014/15-wave season, the
Legend will make her
debut in Sydney after an “Aussification”
makeover. And the 1,814-passenger
Celebrity Century will be based out of Sydney
in October for her first and last season
in Australia before she retires from the
Celebrity fleet next year.
As well as delivering ships to different
ports around the country, the 11 ships
making their debut in Australia will boost
passenger capacity by 13,000 in local waters
over the next two seasons.
1. CARNIVAL LEGEND
Arriving: September 2014
Home port: Sydney
Destinations: Australia and
Aussie Aussie” on board
Carnival Legend when she
joins her sister ship Carnival
Spirit Down Under. Her arrival
in September, fresh from a
$20 million “Aussification”
makeover, marks the
first foray into Australia.
Guests on the Legend will
keep fit with exercise programs
from Australia’s Biggest Loser
trainer Shannan Ponton;
enjoy fresh prawns, mussels
and fish ’n’ chips at the new
Freshie’s Corner snack bar;
and drink a Carnival exclusive
Australian craft beer, Thirsty
Frog Summer Ale.
Across 12 passenger decks,
the family-friendly ship will be
a crowd pleaser, with 16 lounges
and bars; a mix ’n’ match lolly
shop; and Carnival Waterworks
splash zone featuring Green
Thunder, the steepest and fastest
water slide at sea.
Carnival Legend’s Nouveau
Restaurant has a new seafood-
themed Long Lunch at Sea
when guests can sit down to
three courses, including lobster,
for only $30. Another dining
highlight is the Japanese-style
restaurant Bonsai Sushi. There
guests will find sushi rolls,
sashimi, sushi boats, sake and
more on the menu, as well as
Last word: Australian beer,
Australian food and Australian
entertainment will have you
screaming “oi, oi, oi”.
Bookings: See carnival.com.au.
2. CELEBRITY CENTURY
Arriving: October 2014
Home port: Sydney
Destinations: Australia and
Celebrity Cruises’ fleet, but
the 1,814-passenger Celebrity
Century can still cut it when it
comes to flair and style.
Joining Celebrity Solstice to
cruise out of Sydney in October,
this will be her first and only
season in Australia.
While smaller and more
intimate than Celebrity's
other vessels, the Century has
almost all the same facilities as
her larger peers. Public spaces
include the Martini Bar &
Crush with an ice-topped bar;
the Rendezvous Lounge; and the
line’s signature Michael’s Club
for reading and socialising.
Guests can keep active on the
basketball court, stay entertained
in Fortunes Casino or head to
the Canyon Ranch SpaClub for
a massage before dinner.
And the Century doesn’t fall
short when it comes to food
and dining, with Celebrity's
signature French restaurant,
Murano, serving specialty dishes
including smoked salmon and
peeky-toe crab parfait; Muscovy
duck breast; and Grand
Last word: Be sure to get on
board while you can – Celebrity
plans to retire the Century in
Bookings: See celebritycruises.
...COMING TO A PORT NEAR YOU
Australia's next wave season is promising to break all records, with
two new trends creating amazing opportunities for local cruisers.
‘Legend of the
Seas is Royal
ship to be home-
They’re sleek, they’re beautiful and they’re heading
our way... check out the ships that are preparing to
make their first foray into Australia waters.
P&O Cruises new ships
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