Royal Caribbean is counting down for another bumper cruise season in Australian waters, with the return of four popular ships, including the crowd favourite – Ovation of the Seas.
With over 6,400 passengers and crew, Royal Caribbean’s mega-liner Ovation of the Seas returns for her second and longest SuperCruising season yet, after first entering Australian waters in 2016, and becoming an instant favourite among new and seasoned cruisers alike.
“The really special thing about Ovation of the Seas is that she’s appealing to an incredibly wide range of travellers,” said Adam Armstrong, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean in Australia and New Zealand.
“Existing cruisers are excited about the new amenities she offers but she’s also fascinating Australians who have never cruised before. She is redefining the concept of cruising and we are delivering an entirely new way to holiday.
“There is no denying that Ovation of the Seas is big; at around 6,400 passengers and crew, she’s the size of a small Australian town. But with that size comes more choice, space, variety and options. Choose to do it all, or nothing at all – this is what makes a ship like Ovation of the Seas so exciting.”
Super-liner Radiance of the Seas, arriving in Sydney on Sunday 8 October 2017, marks not only the first of the company’s cruise ships to return to Australia, but also Royal Caribbean’s tenth season based down under.
Royal Caribbean’s family-favourites Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, known as the South Pacific Sisters, will also make their return.
“You know summer’s in the air when the cruise ships return, and as this is our 10th season since the mighty Rhapsody of the Seas first sailed from Sydney, it is particularly special for us at Royal Caribbean – and more importantly, our travel partners and guests, past and present,” says RCL Cruises managing director, Adam Armstrong.
“The arrival of Rhapsody of the Seas 10 years ago marked a new era in cruising for Australia. Nobody had ever experienced a level of imagination quite like Royal Caribbean’s in local waters before, and guests were blown away by features which, once upon a time, could only be found on Royal, like the rock-climbing wall.”
“Ten years ago, our philosophy was to bring the world’s most cutting-edge cruise product to Australia’s doorstep. Today, we continue this proud tradition of delivering Australians with the world’s best holidays at sea – most recently with the all-new Ovation of the Seas. And today, we make a commitment to Australians that they can expect continued excellence in cruising, and even bigger, better, bolder and more modern ships from Royal Caribbean for the next 10 years.”
Together Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas will offer 76 sailings ranging from two to 23 nights, calling on 46 ports during the 2017/18 season.
Royal Caribbean retains the title of the largest cruise line in Sydney over the summer season – with bigger ships and more capacity than any other cruise line.
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2017/18 Itinerary Overview
Ovation of the Seas
Fourteen sailings will be on offer during her second local season with departures from November 2017 through to March 2018, including:
- A 14-night repositioning voyage from Singapore to Sydney departing 23 November 2017 and calling at Fremantle, Adelaide and Hobart;
- A 10-night New Zealand sailing with scenic cruising to the Milford Sounds region, as well as calls to Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and Picton;
- A 12-night Christmas cruise to New Zealand departing 17 December 2017 and a 12-night New Year’s cruise to New Zealand that departs on 29 December 2017, calling in both the North and South Islands;
- A nine-night New Zealand school holidays sailing departing on 10 January 2018;
- Calls to South Pacific favourites Mystery Island and Noumea during an eight night school holidays voyage departing 19 January 2018.
- An eight-night Tasmania voyage departing 27 January 2018 that includes a call to Hobart and an overnight stay in Adelaide;
- An extended 14 night New Zealand cruise departing 4 February 2018 which visits the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Picton, Dunedin and includes a scenic cruise to the Milford Sounds region.
Explorer of the Seas
Returning for her third season, Explorer of the Seas will specialise in South Pacific cruises ranging from three to 23 nights, from October 2017 to April 2018.
- An epic 22-night repositioning cruise from Seattle to Sydney via Honolulu, Lahaina, Suva (overnight), Mystery Island, Lifou and Mare departing 6 October 2017;
- Three 11-night South Pacific and Fiji sailings, including a combined Christmas and New Year cruise departing on 24 December 2017;
- A selection of seven-, eight-, nine-, 10 and 12-night South Pacific sailings during the January school holidays;
- A three-night Sampler cruise which departs 9 February 2018;
- A seven-night Tasmania sailing departing 12 March 2018 which includes a maiden call to Wollongong, as well as calls to Hobart and Melbourne;
- Explorer of the Seas will depart Australia on 22 April 2018 with a 23-night Sydney to Seattle cruise visiting Noumea, Lifou, Mystery Island, Suva (overnight), Lahaina and Honolulu (overnight).
Voyager of the Seas
For her sixth and final season down under, Voyager of the Seas will join mega-liner Explorer in sailing predominantly South Pacific itineraries from October 2017 through to April 2018. Highlights include:
- A 10-night repositioning cruise from Singapore to Fremantle departing on 18 October 2017 and calling at Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Phuket;
- Voyager of the Seas will then sail a 16 night Round Australia and New Zealand voyage from Fremantle to Sydney departing 28 October 2017 that includes calls to Adelaide, Melbourne, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Wellington and scenic cruising in the Milford Sounds region;
- An eight-night Queensland cruise departing 13 November 2017 with calls to Brisbane and the Whitsundays;
- A choice of two 14-night South Pacific and Fiji sailings including a New Year’s cruise departing 30 December 2017;
- A choice of six 10-night South Pacific sailings visiting ports in Noumea and Vanuatu including a Christmas cruise departing 20 December 2017;
- Three 9-night sailings calling at ports in Noumea and Vanuatu
- A choice of nine, eight and seven night South Pacific itineraries and an 11 night cruise departing on 5 April, which also visits Fiji;
- A two-night weekend sampler cruise departing 1 December 2017 and a three night weekend sampler cruise departing 2 February 2018;
- Voyager of the Seas will conclude her local season with a 14 night Sydney to Singapore cruise departing 16 April 2018 and visiting Brisbane, The Whitsundays, Cairns, Port Douglas and Darwin.
Radiance of the Seas
Radiance of the Seas continues to be known as Royal Caribbean’s travelling ship, offering departures from Sydney, Auckland and Fremantle for the 2017/18 season with itineraries ranging from eight to 18 nights to New Zealand, South Pacific, Queensland, Tasmania and around Australia, including:
- An 18-night transpacific cruise from Honolulu to Sydney departing 19 September 2017 which calls at French Polynesia and New Zealand;
- A circumnavigation of Australia, where guests can choose to sail a 16-night ‘Top End’ cruise from Sydney to Fremantle which calls at Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Bali, Port Hedland and Geraldton or a 17 night south coast and New Zealand sailing that calls at Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Wellington, as well as scenic cruising to the Sounds, or choose to combine the two cruises into one majestic 33-night voyage;
- A nine-night Tasmania cruise departing on 13 December 2017 that calls at Hobart and Melbourne and includes an overnight stay in Adelaide;
- Visit Queensland during an eight-night sailing departing on 29 March 2018 that calls at Newcastle, The Whitsundays and Brisbane;
- Radiance of the Seas will also offer a 14 night Sydney to Auckland cruise calling in New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga, departing 3 January 2018. This cruise can be combined with the following 14 night New Zealand sailing from Auckland to Sydney to create a 24-night South Pacific and New Zealand cruise;
- Celebrate Christmas and New Year on a 12-night New Zealand cruise departing 22 December 2017;
- Choose from a selection of 11 night, 13 night or 14 night cruises to New Zealand which visit the North and South Islands and the majestic Milford Sounds region;
- Radiance of the Seas departs the region on 17 April 2018 with a 17 night Sydney to Honolulu repositioning sailing visiting Picton, Wellington, Papeete and Bora Bora.
About the ships
Ovation of the Seas
The USD$1billon, 5,000 guest, 348 metre long Ovation of the Seas is a marvel in all senses of the word. The third ship in Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking Quantum Class introduces a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences to Australia including robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar, Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling London-Eye like observation capsule that transports guests as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, a circus school and more.
Ovation of the Seas reimagined cruise ship dining with 18 unique restaurant concepts to choose from, including Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian, Michael’s Genuine Pub, Wonderland and Royal Caribbean favourites, Chops Grille steakhouse and Izumi Japanese.
The ship also features Two70; by day, a transformative, expansive lounge boasting 270 degree ocean views; and by night, an immersive, multimedia entertainment spectacular at night, fusing technology with entertainment using robotic video-screens, dramatic digital projection and high-flying aerialists and performers.
Technology has been amped up on Ovation of the Seas with high speed internet offering more bandwidth than all other cruise ships combined so guests can stream, video call and more as fast as they would onshore, and the Royal iQ app makes keeping track of your onboard schedule simple with all bookings and cruise details stored and updated automatically.
Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas
At 311m long, 48m wide and 137,000 GRT each, there’s no missing Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas – Royal Caribbean’s “South Pacific Sisters” offering dream itineraries to the Pacific islands.
The ships demonstrate why the brand is synonymous with innovation by introducing concepts never seen at sea in Australia and New Zealand. These include the Flowrider surf simulator; the Royal Promenade – a four-deck high food, shopping and entertainment “main street” within the ship; interior cabins with a view (overlooking the Royal Promenade); a 700-seat ice skating rink; a nine-hole miniature golf course; a grand three-deck high restaurant (the largest restaurant in Australia!); a full-sized sports court for basketball and volleyball; a 1,350-seat theatre featuring Broadway-style production shows; a massive kids and teens Adventure Ocean Club; as well as a beautiful Skylight Chapel.
Voyager of the Seas also offers Royal Caribbean’s DreamWorks experience onboard. King Julian and Shrek are among the many “celebrity” DreamWorks characters that will engage guests of all ages, day and night, with unique experiences – including special parades, interactive character breakfasts in the main dining room, and plenty of photo opportunities.
Radiance of the Seas
Radiance of the Seas made her debut Down Under in late 2011 and became Australia’s first 21st century super-liner. Commonly referred to as the “culinary ship”, she offers guests 11 unique and global dining experiences including Giovanni’s Table (Italian), Izumi (Asian), Rita’s Cantina (Mexican) and Samba Grill (Brazilian) – in addition to the Chops Grille Steakhouse, Windjammer Café, Boardwalk Doghouse, the main dining room and Chef’s Table, an exclusive private dining room for 14 guests.
Other enhancements to the ship include an English pub called The Quill & Compass, a Concierge Lounge (for Suite guests), Diamond Lounge (for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members), and a Royal Babies & Tots Nursery (for children aged 6-36 months). She also features signature Royal Caribbean amenities including a 30-foot rock-climbing wall, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, pampering spa and gym facilities.
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