Solstice kicks off Australian season

Solstice kicks off Australian season
By admin

Celebrity Solstice begins its Australian season in earnest tomorrow with a full ship, but Royal Caribbean admitted it has struggled to define and differentiate the product in the market.

The 2850-capacity liner arrived at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal yesterday ahead of a one night sampler cruise last night.

It first full voyage, a 13-night round trip to New Zealand departs tomorrow.

Royal Caribbean Australia managing director Gavin Smith said sales have gone well, with only around 1000 of the ship's 35,000 cabins remaining for its debut season.

But limited funding for brand advertising has impacted the ability to market the ship to consumers and to explain its product.

"We have struggled to differentiate the ship because we have not been able to make the investment in the brand with consumers," Smith told Travel Today onboard the 122,000-tonne liner last night.

The company has, instead, relied on price-led advertising in newspapers and by articulating the product message through the trade. Smith said it hopes to showcase Solstice to 3,500 agents over the summer with ship tours and lunches.

"We want to use the ship as a vehicle to promote Celebrity globally," he said.

Smith described Royal Caribbean as an active brand that appeals to families and "young at heart", while Celebrity is positioned as "more relaxed and indulgent" and favoured by couple in their 40s and above.

Celebrity also attracts a greater percentage of international guests, Smith said, with two thirds of passengers from overseas, and the balance from the local market.

It also tends to attract more "worldly" travellers who are comfortable with open jaw itineraries.






Email the Travel Weekly team at

Latest News