Royal Caribbean International has decided to redeploy its iconic Ovation of the Seas for domestic trips due to the continued uncertainty around international borders.
The ship will offer 21 short trips for Australian travellers, which will kick off in Sydney on 13 December 2021 through to 31 March 2022.
As a result, the line has cancelled Ovation of the Seas’ previously scheduled international trips that were set to depart Sydney from 24 October 2021 to 27 February 2022, as well as Serenade of the Seas’ sailings from Sydney on the same dates.
While the uncertainty still lingers over the timeline towards international travel, Royal Caribbean’s regional vice president and managing director, Gavin Smith, said domestic cruising might be closer than we think.
“We continue to encourage and assist federal and state governments to establish a clear pathway for the return of cruising, and hope that by December we will have guests holidaying with us once again,” he said.
“While Sydney manages its ongoing lockdown, several factors make us hopeful that domestic cruising will return this summer, from rapid advances in COVID-19 research, technology and an emphasis on swift vaccine distribution.”
Guests automatically will be issued a future cruise credit to the value of 125 per cent of their cruise fare to use on future sailings. However, they can opt for a full refund.
“We are thankful to our loyal guests and travel partners for their ongoing patience and support since we suspended cruise operations in March 2020,” Smith said.
“Great progress has been made around the world and we are eager to welcome guests back as we have successfully done in Singapore, Europe, the USA and UK.”
Ovation of the Seas’ domestic trips will include two- to 10-night itineraries visiting ports such as Eden, Hobart, Adelaide, Brisbane, Port Douglas, Kangaroo Island, Airlie Beach, Cairns or Port Douglas, and will be available to book from tomorrow.
Royal Caribbean’s summer 2022/2023 sailings are also available for bookings, with Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas returning to Australia for trips across Australia, New Zealand and islands of the South Pacific.
Featured image source: iStock/Julien Viry