Longest season yet for Australia’s biggest ship ·

Longest season yet for Australia’s biggest ship

In two weeks Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL Cruises), the line with the biggest and most innovative ships in Australia, makes its return with Radiance of the Seas’ arrival on 6 October – setting up Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises for a monumental 2018/19 season.

With five Australia-based ships, RCL Cruises will offer 83 cruises throughout Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia during the 2018/19 season, delivering an injection of an estimated AUD$185 million to the Australian economy in passenger spend alone.

The 18/19 summer marks the first Australian season for newly appointed managing director Susan Bonner, who is preparing for some major announcements amongst the upcoming seasons’ sailings:

“Australian guests love our three brands – the adventure and innovation of our Royal Caribbean ships; the sophisticated food, wine and style of our Celebrity ship; and the destination immersion found on our boutique Azamara ships; we’re responding to that local love with some big announcements later in the season.”

“Internationally, 2018 has been a huge year; in March we launched the biggest ship in the world, Symphony of the Seas, while July saw an identical sister join the Azamara fleet, Azamara Pursuit; and we’re not done yet. The cherry on the top will be Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge, a revolutionary ship we welcome this November.”


Season highlights:

  • Royal Caribbean will have three megaliners sailing in the region, including Ovation of the Seas returning for her third, longest season yet.
  • Radiance of the Seas is the first international ship to return to AU, kicking off the cruise season when she arrives to Sydney on 6 October.
  • Together, Ovation of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, and Radiance of the Seas will be based in Sydney, offering 60 sailings ranging from three to 21 nights.
  • From September 2018 through to April 2019 the three megaliners will call at 38 ports across Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Asia and North America (Hawaii) with departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Singapore, Honolulu and Seattle.
  • Culinary favourite, Radiance of the Seas, will offer Royal Caribbean’s very first departure from Melbourne.
  • Radiance will also offer three one-way cruises departing from Auckland, allowing guests to tack on new experiences to the beginning or end of their cruise.
  • All three megaliners will sail throughout Australia, NZ and the South Pacific, with Explorer of the Seasfocusing primarily on the South Pacific.
  • Sister ship Voyager of the Seas will temporarily homeport in Asia for the 2018/19 season, before returning fresh from a multimillion dollar modernisation next year.


Season highlights:

  • Celebrity Solstice – Australia’s highest rated cruise ship according to the esteemed Berlitz Cruising Guide – will return to Australia and New Zealand for her seventh local season, offering 16 cruises to 37 ports of call in eleven countries.
  • The 2017/18 summer season will see the line visit destinations in Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Fiji, Loyalty Islands, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa and Vanuatu. Itineraries range from nine to eighteen nights with departures from Sydney, Auckland, Fremantle and Honolulu.
  • Solstice will offer four brand new South Pacific destinations in Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.
  • The modern luxury cruise line will introduce an overnight call in Hobart.
  • Celebrity Cruises will offer the lines first roundtrip sailing from Auckland on 16 March 2019.
  • The lines Discovery Collection tours – winner of the US Travel Weekly Gold Magellan Award for Shore Excursions – will be offered for the first time ever in Australia and New Zealand. The bespoke, small group tours crafted to be uniquely iconic, local and exclusive, and include a behind the scenes wine tasting in Picton and a personal tour through a majestic Kauri forest in the Bay of Islands.


Season highlights:

  • This will be Azamara Club Cruises’ fourth season in our waters, the second season for Azamara Quest and the line’s biggest year yet down under, offering more local sailings from more ports than ever before.
  • Azamara Quest will return down under in December 2018 offering seven local sailings during the season
  • The itineraries include the line’s very first Perth, Melbourne and first international departure from Cairns.
  • This season will also see maiden calls for the line to New Zealand’s Gisborne, Nelson, Kaikoura and the stunning Stewart Island nature reserve
  • The Australian season kicks off with an epic 15-Night New Year’s Eve in Sydney sailing departing Fremantle on 22 December, which spends a double overnight in Sydney, allowing guests to enjoy celebrations and fireworks from onboard the ship moored in Sydney Harbour.

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