New Zealand

Royal Caribbean opens bookings for Ovation of the Seas Australia and New Zealand cruises

In:
17Jun2015

Royal Caribbean opened bookings for its third Quantum-class cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas today.  Guests can now book cruises for the ship's maiden season in Australia and New Zealand.

Ovation of the Seas will arrive in Australia on December 6, 2016 when she docks in Perth.  Ovation of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship to ever be homeported in Australia.

After arriving in Australia, Ovation of the Seas will visit Adelaide and Hobart, before arriving in Sydney to begin her official Australian season.

Ovation of the Seas will offer four sailings from Sydney during her summer season starting from December 15, 2016, including:

  • A 15-night New Zealand cruise beginning with an overnight in Sydney on December 15, 2016 followed by calls at Hobart, the Milford Sounds region, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton, Tauranga and Auckland.
  • A 10-night New Year cruise around New Zealand departing December 30, 2016, with calls at the Milford Sound region, Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and Picton.
  • A 14-night cruise during the January school holidays with visits to Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, Picton, Dunedin, and the Milford Sounds region.
  • Ovation of the Seas leaves Australia on January 23, 2017 with a 14-night Sydney to Singapore cruise visiting Brisbane, Darwin and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang).

Royal Caribbean commercial director for Royal Caribbean Australia & South East Asia, Sea Treacy, commented on the arrival of Ovation down under, "At USD$1 billion, Ovation of the Seas represents the single largest investment in Australia and New Zealand cruising by any cruise line. This ship truly ignites the imagination about what is possible on a cruise holiday – from skydiving in the middle of the ocean, robot bartenders, to North Star, an observation capsule that transports you more than 90 metres above the sea providing stunning 360 degree views."

"Being the imaginative and adventure-loving nation that we are, it is not surprising that over 20,000 Aussies have pre-registered their interest since we first announced her local deployment. Ovation of the Seas’ first season will be historic and we can’t wait for Australians to experience the world’s most advanced ship right on our doorstep," Treacy said.

"In her first season alone, Ovation of the Seas is projected to inject more than $20million into the Australian economy with 14 total calls across the country, and almost 30,000 guests are expected to experience the new generation of cruise ship. Some of the other delights her guests can look forward to include bumper cars, a circus school, spectacular shows in the custom-built Two70 entertainment venue, 18 different dining options including Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, Broadway shows and high speed internet."

Ovation of the Seas stop in New Zealand in jeopardy

In:
06May2015

The Ports of Auckland, New Zealand might be saying "no thank you" to Royal Caribbean's brand new cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas.

Earlier this week, the porth authority decided not to build a wharf extension that is necessary for a ship the size of Ovation of the Seas to dock at.  Now the Auckland Council has taken over negotiations in an effort to have the ship stop in Auckland.

Royal Caribbean still believes Ovation of the Seas could still stop in Auckland after meeting with port and council representatives yesterday.

"Absolutely, after that meeting I believe Auckland will be a possibility.  It was very positive, we put our requests and got the promise they will look at that, and come back with a final answer," Royal Caribbean port captain Nik Antalis told Radio New Zealand.

A flurry of political warnings and maneuvering began on Friday when Ports of Auckland announced the 98-metre-long Bledisloe 3 extension would not be completed and thus, Ovation of the Seas would not be able to visit.

Royal Caribbean visits to New Zealand's South Island in jeopardy

In:
Category: 
12Feb2015

Future calls to New Zealand's South Island are potentially in danger of being canceled due to a lack of dedicated berth at Lyttelton port due to earthquake damage.

Royal Caribbean ground handler and representative Tony Petrie said the number of Voyager class ships that visit the South Island had dwindled given the lack of a viable port to call at in Canterbury.  Royal Caribbean's ships could stop at Port Charmers in Otago but would not stop in Akaroa.

Earthquake damage to Christchurch in 2011 ruined the existing port infrastructure.

Essentially, Petrie said marketing cruises to Port Chalmers is more difficult because customers are unwilling to go on a longer cruise without a stop in Lyttelton.

Royal Caribbean had more than 30% of the overall New Zealand cruise market.

Royal Caribbean will increase total cruise passenger numbers for New Zealand

In:
Category: 
13Aug2013

Royal Caribbean's plans for New Zealand this summer will be in contrast to the rest of the cruise industry because it will bring more passengers to the country this year.

Royal Caribbean estimates it will carry somewhere between 80-85,000 passengers, up from around 60,000 passengers last season.

The increase for Royal Caribbean is opposite the trend for the rest of the cruise industry, which is projecting a dip in passengers to New Zealand from 211,000 last year to just 200,000 this year.

Royal Caribbean commercial director for Australia and New Zealand, Adam Armstrong, said the increase can be attributed to a longer season for megaship Voyager of the Seas as well as sister-brand Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice.

Armonstrong also indicated that New Zealand is becoming a more popular cruise destination internationally and more ships were becoming available after cruising around Asia during the northern summer.

"More ships are being based in this part of the world, particularly in Asia. We benefit from that because of the seasonality - our ships migrate by following the sun," Armstrong said.

"It needs to keep doing what it's doing. What New Zealand has been good at is handling larger ships and that's what other ports elsewhere haven't been able to keep pace with, you're very fortunate to have deep-water ports for cargo that can be adapted for cruise ships."

Deal Alert: Royal Caribbean offering stateroom upgrades on Australia and New Zealand cruises

In:
30Jan2013

Royal Caribbean is offering deals on its winter 2013-2014 cruises to Australia and New Zealand of free stateroom upgrades.

Guests can book inside staterooms aboard Rhapsody of the Seas and be upgraded for free to oceanview staterooms, or you can book a balcony stateroom for the cost of an oceanview stateroom aboard Radiance and Voyager of the Seas.

The offer applies to new U.S. and Canadian individual bookings made on Jan. 30 through Feb. 28, 2013 aboard Royal Caribbean International ships departing from Sept. 2013 through April 2014 on 10-night sailings or longer in Australia and New Zealand. 

For more information, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/AustraliaOffer.

Royal Caribbean adjusts 2013/2014 cruise season in Australia

In:
07Jan2013

Citing "unprecedented demand", Royal Caribbean has changed its 2013/2014 cruise season in Australia and New Zealand replacing two cruises to New Zealand and Queensland with voyages to the South Pacific.

Royal Caribbean also added a "sampler cruise" to the schedule.

Royal Caribbean says the changes were made to accommodate the demand for cruises to the Pacific Ocean and for shorter itineraries.

An example of the change is a 14-night Voyager of the Seas cruise to New Zealand, due to depart on January 10, replaced with a three night ‘cruise to nowhere' followed by an 11-night trip to Fiji and New Caledonia.

An 11-night Rhapsody of the Seas voyage to Queensland, departing Sydney on February 11, has also been axed and replaced with a South Pacific sailing, calling at Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, Luganville and Vanuatu.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia commercial director Adam Armstrong said passengers booked on the cancelled itineraries will be offered alternative voyages. 

Photo report: Voyager of the Seas in Auckland, New Zealand

In:
28Nov2012

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas is drawing crowds everywhere she sails "down under" and today, she sailed into Auckland, New Zealand.  Royal Caribbean Blog reader David O'Rourke stopped by the port to snap up these photos of Voyager docked in the city.  Enjoy!

Photo of the Day: Voyager of the Seas in New Zealand

In:
19Nov2012

Voyager of the Seas in at Waimahara Wharf in Shakespeare Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound.

Royal Caribbean announces Australia & New Zealand 2013-2014 plans

In:
19Apr2012

Royal Caribbean is offering its broadest range ever of itineraries in Australia and New Zealand come summer 2013-2014.  For the second consecutive cruise season, Voyager Of The Seas, Radiance Of The Seas And Rhapsody Of The Seas will offer cruises to the region.

Voyager of the Seas will offer 53 distinctive itineraries along with the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.  In total, Royal Caribbean will offer 55 cruises at 56 Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific ports, with departures from September 2013 to April 2014.

Royal Caribbean commercial manager for Australia, Adam Armstrong, commented on the news, "It’s with great pleasure that we can confirm that sister ships, Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, will be back to wow Australian cruisers in summer 2013-14. For the next two summer cruise seasons, Royal Caribbean International will be the largest cruise line operating out of Sydney, and these newly revitalised “premierships” will offer the very latest in cruising – experiences guests previously had to travel to other parts of the world to have."

“We’ve added more cruises on Australia’s first megaliner Voyager of the Seas and some new itineraries across the entire fleet to ensure that there are even more options to suit different lifestyles and needs. It’s our widest ever range of cruises Down Under."

Voyager of the Seas will reposition from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise in late October 2013 that begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Port Keland for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. The ship then homeports at Sydney for nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. These cruises range from nine to 14 nights.

A nine-night Tasmania cruise in early February 2014 features an overnight at Hobart on a one-time-only itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail an 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth before returning to the Far East on a 14-night sailing in late March to Singapore via Bangkok.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also homeport at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, and will operate a wide variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights.

The cruises visit Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas will circumnavigate Australia twice with a 16-night north coast and a 17-night south coast and New Zealand itinerary.

Pacific crossings between Vancouver, BC and Sydney bookend both ships’ Australia season. These are a 12-night Hawaii and a 16- or 17-night South Pacific sailing, departing Sept. 13, 2013 and April 10, 2014 aboard Radiance of the Seas, and Sept. 6, 2013 and April 18, 2014 aboard Rhapsody of the Seas. 

New Zealand cruise passenger totals expected to rise in 2013

In:
26Mar2012

Demand for cruise ships is expected to rise in New Zealand by more than 20 percent in 2013 and Royal Caribbean's commercial manager for Australia and New Zealand cites Royal Caribbean's efforts to convince the public that cruising is still safe.

The effects of the Costa Concordia disaster have effected even New Zealand but Armstrong does not believe it will be a long-term concern, "Australians and Kiwis seem to have been able to process it as a one-off, probably human error, incident."

Royal Caribbean's business in New Zealand is growing quickly, with about 55,000 guests forecast for next season, compared to about 30,000 this year.

To meet the demand, Royal Caribbean will have five ships across two brands in the area.

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