Carnival Cruise Lines will base its first ship in Australia in 2012,
with the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit operating year-round from Sydney.
At a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday, Carnival said that
the Spirit will arrive in Sydney in October 2012.
Carnival said the move “reflects growing confidence in cruising
in the region.”
As one of the largest ships in the regions, the 2,667-passenger
Carnival Spirit will be the first cruise ship based in Sydney
year-round that will be too tall to sail under the
Sydney Harbour Bridge, the line said.
Carnival will aim to market cruises to Australians and New Zealanders,
with a shipboard experience tailored to the Australian market
and onboard spending in Australian dollars.
There will be no tipping required.
However, Carnival’s strong brand recognition in the U.S. will play
a role in attracting U.S. customers, said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia.
The Spirit will be the seventh Carnival Corp. ship sailing
year-round from Australia by the end of 2012, along with
ships from P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises, the company said.
“It is amazing growth considering there were just two ships
based in Australia year round in 2007,” stated Sherry.
“This really underscores Sydney’s position on the world
cruise map and our resolve to keep growing the market
with multiple brands that appeal to customers.”
The Spirit’s year-round schedule of 8- to 12-day cruises to the
Pacific Islands and some 13-day sailings to New Zealand will
begin October 25, 2012. The cruises are expected to go on
sale by the middle of this year.
The Spirit’s move is another blow to Southern California,
where the Spirit will operate between San Diego and Los Angeles
during the 2011-12 winter season.