3,2,1…GO! ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES KICKS OFF ITS BIGGEST, BOLDEST, RECORD-BREAKING SEASON YET
3: All three Royal Caribbean brands in Australia for the first time with Azamara Club Cruises' debut
2: Voyager-Class ships based in Sydney, Australia including new ship Explorer of the Seas
1: Legend of the Seas – the first Brisbane-based ship for RCI
9 October 2015: Today marks the start of RCL Cruises Australia's biggest, boldest season yet, with the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas to Sydney – the first of seven of the biggest, youngest and most exceptional cruise ships to sail local waters this summer.
For the first time ever, all three RCL Cruises brands will be based down under, with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and new arrival Azamara Club Cruises offering a range of 95 itineraries around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia.
RCL will carry a quarter of a million guests over the season with almost 60,000 of them coming from overseas countries including the USA, Canada, UK and Germany.
"Today marks the start of a record-breaking season in which we will double our guest capacity, introduce a new cruise brand to the region and offer a total of seven ships – around 20 percent of RCL's global fleet," said Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President, RCL Cruises Asia-Pacific.
"For nearly a decade we have delivered the world's biggest and best ships to Australians, offering them a cutting edge cruise product and a style of holiday that they would previously have had to travel overseas to experience," Smith continued.
Already an Australian favourite, the destination-focused Azamara Club Cruises brand will sail in Australia for the very first time this summer. Normally based in Europe and Asia, the 686-passenger Azamara Quest arrives in Darwin on 28 December as the first of three new ships to join the local fleet this season.
Sydney's biggest summer cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, will welcome Explorer of the Seas, which sets sail from Barcelona today en route to Sydney. The 3,800-passenger megaliner will take the title of Australia's largest cruise ship from her twin sister, Voyager of the Seas, and the ships will meet in beautiful Sydney Harbour on Saturday evening on 28 November for a historic big-ship harbour rendezvous.
Both Voyager Class vessels are the largest cruise ships based in the southern hemisphere and have recently emerged from a combined USD$160 million bow-to-stern facelift, equipping them with brand new features never seen before at sea in Australasia such as the FlowRider surf simulator and revolutionary Interior "Virtual" Balconies.
Finally, Royal Caribbean International will base a ship in Brisbane for the first time. From 8 December, Queenslanders will have their very own world class ship, Legend of the Seas, when she commences sailing from Portside Wharf, Hamilton with no less than 15 itineraries.
The seven ships will make 185 port calls and 85 turnarounds in Australia this season, which is expected to inject more than $185 million into the local economy in passenger spending alone.
Friday 9 Oct: Radiance of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, kicks off RCL's cruise season
Wednesday 21 Oct: Celebrity Solstice: Arrives Sydney, starts Celebrity Cruises' local season
Thursday 5 Nov: Voyager of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, starts local season
Friday 13 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Arrives in Fremantle (Perth), first ever Australian port
Tuesday 17 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Adelaide call
Thursday 19 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Melbourne call
Saturday 28 Nov: Sydney Harbour Rendezvous: Explorer of the Seas is welcomed to Sydney for the first time by twin sister Voyager of the Seas
Wednesday 2 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Darwin – first Australian call for season
Tuesday 8 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Brisbane to start maiden season and Royal Caribbean's first season sailing out of Brisbane
Monday 28 Dec: Azamara Quest: Arrives in Darwin – first ever Australian port call for Azamara Club Cruises
Monday 4 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden Cairns call
Tuesday 5 Jan: Azamara Quest: Departs Cairns on first ever local voyage
Monday 11 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden call in Brisbane
Thursday 14 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Sydney
Monday 18 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Melbourne
Wednesday 20 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Hobart
Saturday 13 Feb: Azamara Quest: Departs Sydney on last local sailing
Saturday 19 Mar: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Hobart call
Tuesday 29 Mar: Celebrity Millennium: seventh and final ship of the season arrives in Sydney
Sunday 3 Apr: Radiance of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season
Saturday 9 Apr: Celebrity Solstice: Departs Sydney, completing local season
Saturday 16 Apr: Voyager of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season
Wednesday 20 Apr: Legend of the Seas: Departs Brisbane, completing local season
Saturday 23 Apr: Explorer of the Seas: Departs Sydney, wrapping up the 2015/16 international cruise season
For more information visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, www.celebritycruises.com.au or www.azamaraclubcruises.com, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.