Carnival Australia Poised for Big Season

Carnival Spirit in Sydney

Carnival Australia announced that it is is on course for one of its biggest summer cruise seasons ever, featuring more than 600 calls to ports around the nation as well as the local debut of two new ships, the Ruby Princess and Carnival Splendor.

The season kicked off this week as the Majestic Princess sailed into Sydney following stops in Darwin and Brisbane. 

Her arrival marked the start of 625 calls to 34 different ports around Australia by 19 ships from the seven cruise lines represented by Carnival Australia: Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises UK and Seabourn.

Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the 2019-20 cruise season would feature an exciting range of ships as well as 50 inaugural port visits around the country for ships across the company’s cruise lines, according to a statement.

“This is going to be a summer cruise season to remember, with our cruise lines offering Australian holidaymakers a fantastic range of new itineraries and new ports across 19 great ships,” Myrmell said. “In fact the number of local port visits by our ships has grown by more than 50 per cent compared to the summer season 10 years ago, underlining not only the growing popularity of cruising but also how much cruising has become part of the tourism fabric of our nation.”

On her second season Down Under, the Majestic Princess’s arrival not only marks the start of the summer cruise season but the largest in history for Princess in this region, featuring a record 141-day deployment in Western Australia as well as cruising from the east coast.

Myrmell said highlights of the season also include the first Australian visit by the Ruby Princess which will arrive in Sydney on October 23, 2019, and the Australian debut of the Carnival Splendor, which will sail into her new homeport of Sydney on December 10, 2019. Her arrival means that Carnival Cruise Line will now have two full-time ships based Down Under.

Other inaugural ship and cruise line visits over the summer include Carnival Cruise Line’s first call to Adelaide (Carnival Spirit February 29, 2020); Cunard’s first call to Esperance in Western Australia, (Queen Elizabeth on December 9, 2020); Seabourn’s first call to Portland (Seabourn Encore on March 14, 2020) and Holland America’s first calls to Moreton Island (Maasdam on December 1, 2019); Portland (Maasdam on January 2, 2020) and Phillip Island (Maasdam on January 3, 2020).

Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Pool Deck

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completion of the refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel as part of The Norwegian Edge program.

Following a two-week drydock in Singapore the Norwegian Jewel will debut in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, Dec. 1, showcasing refreshed venues, updated spaces, premier entertainment and redesigned staterooms, the company said.

The ship will spend her winter 2018 and spring 2019 seasons cruising from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, before joining Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer.

“Norwegian Jewel’s complete renovation showcases our dedication to providing guests with quality experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

“Not only are we revealing updated designs and accommodations throughout the ship, but guests will also enjoy new venues and three incredibly exciting shows, one of which premieres for the first time on Norwegian Jewel.”

Norwegian Jewel Pitstop

The Norwegian Jewel will feature two new shows – “Rock You Tonight,” and ship exclusive “Velvet.” The Australian musical “Velvet” makes its debut at sea with disco classics, a combination of circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements, and features the talented Brenda Edwards of “X Factor UK” as the lead, with “The Voice” finalist, Frenchie Davis to follow.

Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge, the company said. Drawing inspiration from the 1950’s, The Pit Stop is an all-American bar retrofitted with vintage license plates, gas station signage and other classic car elements of the era. The Bliss Ultra Lounge offers late-night entertainment in a modern and upscale setting, with more intimate seating options now available.

New Look Atrium

All 1,188 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as new carpet, artwork and furniture. The Haven by Norwegian received updates to the courtyard, additional cabanas on the sun deck and new finishes, carpets, tiles, drapes, artwork and furniture for all suites and villas. The ship also now has two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites, at nearly 1,200 square feet and featuring large, 567-square-foot balconies, two private jacuzzies and accommodates up to four guests.

The Atrium has also been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look centred around a custom-design chandelier and includes updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas, the addition of relaxed banquette seating and a large TV screen.

Next Quantum class ship to sail from Australia

By Phil Davies

Royal Caribbean International is to deploy its next Quantum-class ship in Australia for the 2016-17 southern hemisphere summer season.The $1 billion Ovation of the Seas, currently being built in Germany, will be the largest cruise ship to be based in the country.

The vessel is due to arrive in Sydney for the peak summer season from December 2016.

The announcement came as the line prepares for Monday’s naming of sister ship Anthem of the Seas in Southampton ahead of a summer season sailing from the UK.

Ovation of the Seas, the third ship in the Quantum class, will be the fifth vessel to be positioned by Royal Caribbean in Australia for summer 2016-17, joining Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney and Legend of the Seas in Brisbane.

The disclosure coincided with rival Carnival Corporation brand Princess Cruises confirming that it is to home port five ships in Australia for the 2016-17 season.

The 3,082-passenger Emerald Princess will join Golden Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess with departures from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Emerald Princess run 42-day re-positioning voyage from the UK to Australia on September 28, 2016.