Emerald Princess to sail in Australia

Princess Cruises is redeploying the Emerald Princess to Australia, giving it five ships there during the winter season.

The 3,082-passenger ship will be the largest and youngest of the five. It was built in 2007.

The Emerald Princess will be based in Sydney from November 2016 to April 2017. Currently it sails in the Caribbean. Its itineraries to New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific will be announced in detail later this spring.

The Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess sail year-round from Australia. The Diamond Princess splits its time between Australia and China.

Multimillion-dollar makeover for Voyager of the Seas

After undergoing an extensive makeover, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas has returned to Sydney.

For the first time since its $80 million (£51 million) renovation, the vessel embarked on a 14-day journey from Singapore and arrived in Australia on Monday morning.

Deemed the country’s biggest passenger ship, the Voyager weighs in at around 138,000 tonnes and is over 300 m in length, with 15 levels.

With the capacity to accommodate up to 4,000 passengers, the Voyager of the Seas more than matches the Sydney Opera House in bulk.

Captain Charles Teige, Voyager of the Seas’ Norwegian skipper, first started working in the cruise industry more than 20 years ago, where the main attractions for passengers simply involved a Broadway-style show, sunbathing on the deck and dining.

Now, Royal Caribbean has pulled out all the stops to produce a luxurious, entertainment-filled sailing experience to be enjoyed by all.

Although the Voyager travels to many exciting destinations around the world, Captain Teige explains that it is in fact the ship itself that passengers look forward to experiencing most.

He said: “Now the ship has become the destination. In Brisbane [which Voyager of the Seas visited during its journey to Sydney] we had 1,100 people who decided not to go ashore.”

One of the vessel’s attractions is the FlowRider a modern surf machine, which comes as part of Royal Caribbean’s plan to appeal to younger passengers and extended family groups. but the ship also includes a 3D cinema, rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, mini shopping centre and a full-size basketball court.

And Captain Teige ensured a piece of his heritage was incorporated into the design, with a collage of landscapes that capture Norway’s natural beauty hung just outside the bridge room.

Last month, the cruise line also launched its first Quantum class ship, Quantum of the Seas. The New York-based vessel is the third largest ship ever built and boasts a range of innovative features, such as simulated sky diving and robotic bartenders.

Royal Caribbean to put third ship in Australia

By Tom Stieghorst
Royal Caribbean International said it will station three ships in Australia/New Zealand for the winter of 2015-16, adding Explorer of the Seas to a lineup that already includes the Radiance and Voyager.

From November 2015 through April 2016, Explorer will primarily sail from Sydney on 11- and 14-day New Zealand cruises, with up to seven ports of call in the South Pacific country.

During its inaugural Australia season, Explorer also will offer three- and four-day cruises in November 2015 and in February and March 2016.

Voyager of the Seas will sail eight- to 12-day South Pacific and Fiji cruises, all roundtrip from Sydney, while Radiance of the Seas will sail a variety of South Pacific itineraries.

Explorer is cruising in the Bahamas and southern and western Caribbean this winter.