Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Welcome back to work, lovely readers! Let us ease you back into the grind with this bite-sized Cruise Wrap.

Royal Caribbean celebrates record breaking season

Adam Armstrong, managing director RCL Australia & NZ

RCL has wrapped up its Australian cruising season, with its seven ships carrying more than 300,000 guests making it the cruise line’s biggest season yet.

To celebrate the line’s successful season, RCL hosted cruise industry friends to a ‘bon voyage’ party as Explorer of the Seas sailed from Sydney on Saturday 22 April, marking the end of the successful season.

The company’s three brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, based an unprecedented seven ships in the region including two new ships; the newest and biggest Australia has ever seen, Ovation of the Seas, and the boutique Azamara Journey.

Craig Chisholm of Oz Cruising, Tony Soden of Royal Caribbean, Lauren Farrugia of OzCruising and Emily Cowdroy of Globenet Travel

“Explorer of the Seas’ departure from Sydney concludes what has been our biggest and most incredible season to date, carrying more than 300,000 guests on local cruises and injecting an expected AUD$200 million into the local economy in passenger spend alone,” Adam Armstrong, managing director, RCL Australia & NZ said.

“We increased capacity by 17 percent, introduced two new ships to the region, completely refreshed another, launched a brand new cruise port in Wollongong, and wowed Aussies, Kiwis and more than 50,000 guests from overseas on over 90 different itineraries around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia. What’s more, Royal Caribbean International became Australia’s largest cruise line in terms of capacity over the summer season. It truly has been a record breaking seven months.”

“Royal Caribbean changed the game for cruising down under when we introduced supercruising to Australia, with the incredible US$1 billion Ovation of the Seas,” Armstrong continued.

RCL also welcomed its smallest ship in the fleet, the 690-guest Azamara Journey for her maiden Australian season in February 2017.

The upcoming 2017/18 season will see six RCL ships return, including the ground-breaking Ovation of the Seas for a longer second season.


Guests can use onboard credit before departures on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises 

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have enhanced their Pre-Cruise Planner to enable guests to use onboard credit to book experiences on their cruise before they sail. Previously, these credits could only be used once onboard the ship. Now, guests who have received any onboard credit, either through promotions such as Royal Caribbean’s WOW Sale or Celebrity Cruises’ Go Big, Go Better, Go Best, Next Cruise credits and more, can use these amounts to purchase onboard extras such as beverage packages, specialty dining experiences, spa treatments, shore excursions and internet packages.

As part of the enhancements, any purchases made before departure using onboard credit will now also be charged in the local currency (Australian dollars). The changes are now available on all Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises voyages*.


P&O Cruises reported a strong turnout by guests at onboard Anzac Day Dawn Services yesterday.

Pacific Aria Anzac Day wreath

Armed service veterans and current serving members of the armed forces played central roles in the commemorative services on board Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

At the time of the services, Pacific Dawn was navigating the Brisbane River on return to its homeport, Pacific Jewel was to the east of Newcastle on return to Sydney, Pacific Aria was approaching Port Vila in Vanuatu and Pacific Eden was at Broome in Western Australia.

Later in the day, the poignancy of the Dawn Services gave way to a celebration of Australia and New Zealand including music, special displays and Anzac themed movies.


Due to popular demand, Viking Cruises will host a second round of free information sessions, commencing in May. The sessions are designed to immerse potential guests in the brand’s new ocean itineraries, extensive river cruise offering and award-winning fleet.

Hosted by experts from Viking Cruises, the sessions will be held in Canberra (The National Museum, Tuesday 23 May), Adelaide (Rydges South Park Adelaide, Tuesday 30 May), Perth (Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, Thursday 1 June) and Newcastle (Merewether Surfhouse, Wednesday 7 June). Attendees will be offered an exclusive deal as part of the information sessions for their booking. Two sessions each day will be held on River Cruising and two on Ocean, with the following sessions scheduled:

  • 10am – 11am Europe River Cruising
  • 12pm – 1pm Ocean Cruising
  • 2pm – 3pm Europe River Cruising
  • 6:30pm – 7:30pm Ocean Cruising 


Foto evento 03

The ninth ship in the Silversea fleet offers the highest expression of excellence at sea offering the highest expression of elegance and comfort while aiming to redefine the ultra luxury cruising experience.

The ultra luxury cruise line welcomed VIPs and other distinguished guests to Port Hercule in the heart of Monaco last week for an intimate ceremony marking the christening of the latest addition to the fleet, Silver Muse. The historic celebration, hosted by Silversea Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, was honoured with incredible performances by the Sinfonietta Orchestra of Rome and renowned violinist Charlie Siem, both of whom enriched the ceremony with sublimely moving musical renditions.

Accommodating 596 passengers, the ship boasts an unrivalled selection of dining options on board, including three restaurants new to the Silversea fleet: Atlantide, a seafood and grill concept representing the ultimate in culinary excellence and creativity by using the finest ingredients sourced from around the world.



Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed that its award-winning entertainment programming will reach new heights on Norwegian Bliss, the line’s sixteenth ship, which has been designed for the ultimate cruising experience and will sail to Alaska and the Caribbean beginning in June 2018.

Norwegian will once again bring the best of Broadway to sea, with the 2006 Tony Award® winner for “Best Musical,” Jersey Boys, and a completely new and original show created by Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, headlining on the ship’s main stage, the Bliss Theater. Norwegian Bliss will also feature a new comedy club and nightlife venue, a new theatrical cocktail hour experience, Happy Hour Prohibition- The Musical, an outpost of the legendary Beatles’ venue The Cavern Club and much more.

Norwegian Cruise Line is currently developing an exclusive original musical theatre show created and produced specifically for Norwegian Bliss. The new show will be a Cuban-inspired Broadway-style musical created by Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, featuring electrifying dance, colourful pageantry and sensational sounds developed by some of the most sought-after names on Broadway today.



Book an Ovation of the Seas’ Singapore to Sydney voyage departing November 23, 2017 and receive a one-way airfare from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Brisbane to Singapore from just $99 per person through cruise holiday specialist

Plus, this itinerary comes with savings of up to 30%, now available from just $2,559 per person twin share when you book by May 18 with a bonus of only having to pay a 50% cruise deposit.

Fly to Singapore where you will board the largest ship ever to sail in Australia and travel south with port visits in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart before cruising to your final destination Sydney. Included in the price is one-way airfare from Australia to Singapore (from only $99), 14 nights cruise accommodation with all meals, two nights at the Hotel Jen Tanglin by Shangri-La Singapore with private transfers and port and government taxes.



Viking Cruises announce a new preferred partnership with Express Travel Group, as part of its trade strategy.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this new partnership. We look forward to working with Express Travel Group to grow both of our businesses and reach a new customer base,” Managing Director of Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand, Michelle Black said.

Express Travel Group Executive General Manager, Ari Magoutis added that this “partnership has been led by our members who recognise the quality of Viking Cruises product, service and support. With this strong endorsement from our membership, we look forward to a mutually successful partnership”.

New Guest Lounge for True North Cruises in Broome

King George waterfall season 2017

The brand-new airline lounge type facility is located adjacent to company’s sales office in the heart of Chinatown and will provide a convenient staging point for guests who are waiting to transfer on-board or, for their onward flight. The lounge features the artwork of revered Aboriginal artist Donny Woolagoodja and the remarkable wood-carvers of the Sepik River and continues the company’s long association with art.

And the new lounge comes just in time to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. On May 26 more than 400 guests will converge on Broome for a gala celebration at the town’s historic outdoor picture theatre, Sun Pictures.

Dr. Seuss WaterWorks to Feature on New Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line has announced that its newest ship, the 133,500-tonne Carnival Horizon, will be the first in its fleet to feature Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, a vibrant water park inspired by the whimsical world and words of the legendary children’s author. 

 Dr. Seuss WaterWorks builds upon the line’s distinction as the family cruise leader carrying nearly 800,000 kids a year, as well as the incredible success of the fleetwide Seuss at Sea program, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that features immersive onboard Dr. Seuss-themed youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences.

 Located on Deck 12 of the 3934-passenger Carnival Horizon – which will debut in Europe in April 2018 – Dr. Seuss WaterWorks will offer two distinctly different slides, each promising their own ‘splash-tastic’ fun.

Explore France with Viking Cruises and Fly Free 

Viking Cruises’ France’s Finest itinerary takes guests on a 15-day journey through some of France’s most exquisite locations, travelling through Paris and Normandy to Burgundy and Provence.

Highlights include a walk-in Joan of Arc’s footsteps at Rouen, a visit to Normandy’s World War II beaches, a tasting in one of the Beaujolais’s famous cellars, a visit to Avignon’s Palace of the Popes and a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame.

Fly free to Europe and save $2,000 per couple when you book a 15-day France’s Finest cruise in 2018. Or fly Business Class from just $4,995 per person. Offer valid until 30 June 2017. Pricing from $5,895 per person on 07 November 2018 departure.

Experience the Caribbean on a 2017 cruise with Royal Caribbean International.

 Royal Caribbean’s incredible fleet of 18 ships sailing the Caribbean region includes the world’s three biggest and most feature-packed megaliners – the all-new Harmony of the Seas and sisters Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

Throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet based in the Caribbean, guests will find favourites like FlowRider surf machines, rock climbing walls, zip lines, Tony Award-winning Broadway shows, ice skating rinks and a delectable variety of dining options.

The vibrant culture and stunning beauty of the islands of the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda lets guests escape from the everyday with heart-pumping excursions or take it easy and recharge on more than 400 acres of pristine beaches. Plus Royal Caribbean guests have exclusive access to two private-island resorts: Labadee, Haiti and CocoCay, Bahamas.


Oceania Cruises unveiled its most extensive collection of tropics and exotics itinerarie

There are voyages to Asia and Africa, the South Pacific, Australia, Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. They offer a refreshing mix of popular destinations, enchanting boutique ports, and off-the-beaten-path gems that is unmatched by any other cruise line. Overnight and extended port stays allow for more in-depth exploration and immersion into the cuisine, culture, and history of more than 240 ports of call.

 “Oceania Cruises attracts travellers with a true passion for discovery. Loyal guests and newcomers alike will appreciate the tremendous breadth and scope of voyages to choose from, along with the diversity of destinations and experiences that are offered,” Managing Director Asia Pacific for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Steve Odell said. 

There are 75 itineraries, 53 of them brand new including 10 new South Pacific, Australia & New Zealand voyages, 12 new Asia & Africa journeys, 23 new Caribbean sailings. 

Carnival Spirit Invited Former Royal Australian Navy Commander John Hodges onboard for Anzac Day Service

Former Royal Australian Navy Commander John Hodges headed back to sea for the first time since his retirement from the Navy in 1989 and lead a special Anzac Day service onboard Carnival Spirit in Sydney Harbour on April 25.

After an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years, the Vietnam War veteran and Submarine Captain led the Anzac Day dawn service onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Australia-based superliner as it sailed into Sydney following an eight-night cruise.

The service was followed by a ‘Gunfire Breakfast’, while the cruise featured a special screening of Gallipoli.


Scenic Eclipse launch World’s First Discovery Yacht Brochures 

thumbnail_Scenic Eclipse - Owner's Penthouse Terrace and Jacuzzi

Scenic Eclipse launched three brochures – Scenic Eclipse, Scenic Discovery Voyages: Europe & The Americas, and Scenic Polar Voyages – Arctic and Antarctica. 

The 6-star ultra-luxury mega yacht for only 228 guests – 200 in the Arctic and Antarctica –launches in the Mediterranean on 31 August 2018. Scenic Eclipse’s intimate size means you’ll dock in unique locations and smaller ports that larger ships simply cannot reach.

Sleep in the most luxurious suites, feast on Fine dining and drinks,  and embark on all-inclusive shore excursions, as enjoy the all-inclusive, opulent extras like butler service for every guest; Spa Sanctuary and plunge pools; expert Discovery Leaders an all cruises; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; all tipping and gratuities, and much, much more.

Plus, there are all-inclusive shore excursions, discovery Voyages From the bright beauty of Croatia to the crystalline waters of Cuba, and polar Voyages Cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands.



Norwegian Cruise Line announced a partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches as a part of the entertainment and activities on board Norwegian Joy, its soon to-be-unveiled 3,850 passenger vessel. Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market, designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences. Norwegian Joy will home port in Shanghai and Tianjin, following a grand inaugural port tour leading up to a christening ceremony on June 27, led by her Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop’ Wang Leehom.

The two-level Ferrari branded competitive racetrack will be located on the top deck of the ship, where guests may take a thrilling ride in electric go-carts. Up to ten drivers at a time will be able to race each other on the course and have photos taken at the finish line to share with friends and family back home. Guests of Norwegian Joy’s The Haven and Concierge class will enjoy a number of complimentary rides as part of the amenities and benefits of their suites and staterooms.


Leave a Reply


Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.




Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.




Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.




Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.




Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.




Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  




“We will not be pursuing ‘Omicron zero'”: NSW and Victoria vow to keep borders open

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said he and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrotett have been texting about this fandangled ‘Omicron zero’ situation, with both giving the strategy a thumbs down emoji.




Sri Lanka Tourism invites investors to cash in with huge incentives

The island nation’s government has made it easier to invest in tourism projects, and they reckon there are big bucks to be made. That is, if you have a spare $71K laying around.




The best bits of Wendy Wu’s Worldwide Sale

The sale includes coveted cherry blossom and autumn leaves departures on Japan trips so tell your clients to start saving up their yen now.




Say namaste: Qantas’ first India flights in almost a decade take to the skies

Meanwhile, the Flying Kangaroo’s Points Auction continues apace with a private jet experience set to go under the hammer.




Bannisters opens new Bawley Point retreat, The Jackson Ranch

Got a client who has always wanted to say “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” in a literal sense? Book them a stay in this hidden gem.



Travel Agents

AFTA updates campaign encouraging members to contact local MPs

Want to give your local MP a piece of your mind but don’t want to get kicked out of their office for shouting profanities? Click here.