|Sydney Harbour - Credit: Tourism Australia Copyright|
Some time in our lives we'd all love to leave our footprints on a white sand beach or snorkel the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It is here, in Australia and the South Pacific, that natural beauty abounds. Fascinating people inhabit peaceful islands and charming cities combine old-world atmosphere with hardy, frontier spirit.
Cruise Season: October - April
A cruise to Australia, New Zealand, and/or the South Pacific can fulfill almost every exotic adventure that a serious traveler could dream. Cruises and cruisetours start at 14 nights long and sail seasonally between October and April. The beauty of these itineraries is that you can see as much of the South Pacific as you like in one cruise.
|Great Barrier Reef - Credit: Tourism Australia Copyright|
2014-15 Deployments Announced
Cruise lines have begun announcing their Australia plans for the 2014-15 season, and now is the time to plan a cruise vacation there as additional capacity means greater flexibility and potential savings. In this article, we will discuss the deployments that have been announced. In future articles and on our website, we will provide updates on the itineraries, and also take a closer look at the destination itself.
Australia is one of the world's fastest-growing cruise destinations and this next deployment reflects increases to programs as the lines establish a strong presence Down Under.
Carnival Cruise Line continues to base the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit in Sydney, Australia year-round. The Spirit will sail 8- to 12-night voyages to the Pacific Islands as well as 13-night sailings to New Zealand. The 88,500-ton Spirit is so big it can't fit under the city's Harbour Bridge, therefore, it will be based at Circular Quay's Overseas Passenger Terminal.
The 88,500-ton, 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend, sister ship to the Carnival Legend, will be deployed seasonally in Australia after being "Aussified". According to the local Carnival Cruise Line director, “Carnival Legend will go into dry dock in 2014 where she will receive a range of upgrades to ensure she's perfectly suited for the tastes of the Aussie market. We will be using our valuable learnings from the first year of Carnival Spirit's deployment to decide on the best features and enhancement for Australians.”
Last year Celebrity Cruises announced plans to send the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice, to Australia and New Zealand in December, 2012, taking the place of the smaller, 1,814-passenger Celebrity Century. For the 2014-15 Season, Celebrity Century rejoins Celebrity Solstice in Australia.
Celebrity Century and Celebrity Solstice together will offer 27 cruises in Australia in 2014-15, representing a 50 percent increase from the previous season. The itineraries offer guests a vast array of options, ranging from three to 23 nights, departing from Sydney, Fremantle and Auckland.
Celebrity Century will visit 17 ports in four countries during the Australia season, including five first-time ports: Port Lincoln and Cairns, Australia; and Champagne Bay, Mystery Island and Vila, Vanuatu. Within the complete collection of itineraries are a 23-night “Golden Gate to Sydney Opera House” cruise from San Francisco to Sydney via Hawaii and Tahiti; 8-night Australia vacations and a 7-night Tasmania cruise; 12-night South Pacific and Fiji Islands sailings, and a 14-night South Pacific cruise. Celebrity Century will cap her Australia/New Zealand season with a 14-night cruise to Singapore January 11, 2015, where the ship will present a new Southeast Asia series until April 2015.
Celebrity Solstice will set sail on her third Australia/New Zealand season from Sydney October 10, 2014. The ship’s three-month Australia/New Zealand season will be highlighted by Celebrity’s first cruise combining Tropical Queensland with the South Pacific islands; new 12- and 14-night Australian itineraries, in addition to a three-night weekend getaway from Sydney and an eight-night South Australian cruise; a 12-night South Pacific/Fiji cruise; a 17-night Australia/New Zealand sailing from Auckland to Perth, which can be combined with a 17-night “Top End” Australia cruise from Perth to Sydney to create an exceptional 34-night circumnavigation of Australia, and an 18-night sailing across the Pacific from Sydney to Honolulu.
Royal Caribbean International announced that it will have three ships in Australia during the 2014-15 season.Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will continue to be based in Sydney, offering two- to 17-night sailings around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The line offers the most ships and sailings from Sydney seasonally.
Royal Caribbean has big plans for the 2014-15 season as they announced their biggest deployment to date. Part of the plans call for Voyager of the Seas to undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment before the new cruise season kicks off.
At press time, we didn't have updates for Holland America and Princess Cruises but we expect similar deployments from last season:
Holland America had two ships sailing in Australia: the 1,926-passenger Oosterdam and the 1,432-passenger Volendam, Holland America sailed 10- to 25-day itineraries in and around Australia and New Zealand.
Princess Cruises deployment included 4 ships, 11 itineraries, and 45 voyages. There were three ships deployed in the region: Diamond Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess.
Visit Australia.com to learn more about what Australia has to offer during your cruise vacation.