Cruising on cusp of new record season

Cruising on cusp of new record season
By admin

Cruise operators are preparing for the start of Australia’s biggest ever summer cruise season, with a record number of cruise ships set to sail in Australian waters.

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) will kick off the season with the arrival of Radiance of the Seas in Sydney next Friday, the first international cruise ship to arrive in Australia.`

The cruise line will also base newcomers Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice in Australia for the first time, marking the “beginning of a brand new era in Australian cruising”, according to commercial director Adam Armstrong.

“Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice will revolutionise the cruising landscape as we introduce a size and calibre of superliner previously only experienced overseas,” he said.

RCI will carry more than 200,000 passengers on its ships this summer – up from 35,000 guests just two seasons ago.

Meanwhile, Carnival Australia will operate 19 ships from across its fleets in local waters, set to total 310 port visits with a record 325,000 passengers between now and April.

Chief executive Ann Sherry said the record numbers reflect Australians’ growing interest in cruise holidays along with the growing popularity of Australasian itineraries among international cruise markets.

“In all, this cruise season, we’ll carry more than triple the number of passengers who cruised with us eight years ago when Carnival Australia was first former and had just seven ships sailing local waters,” she said.

The season will feature the Australian debut of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Spirit, which will be based in Australia full time.

Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 will also return down under for its first ever navigation of New Zealand departing Sydney in March 2013.

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