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Royal Caribbean's latest deployment features a new ship and a returning favorite to Australia in 2025-26

10 Apr 2024

It's been an eventful 2025-2026 deployment season with many ships changing places and regions, and that trend continues with the new Australia plans.

Royal Caribbean released its latest deployment with 45 long and short cruises during the 2025-2026 season from Australia.

There will be two ships down under, with Anthem of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

New arrival

Anthem of the Seas will sail from Australia for the first time when she calls Sydney her homeport.

The ship will offer a range of 3- to 18-night cruises to New Zealand, around Australia, and to the islands of the South Pacific.

Royal Caribbean is also going to offer more short cruises on Anthem when she arrives in Australia. There are five 2- to 4-night coastal cruises meant to be easy getaways.


There is also a 5-night getaway that visits Hobart, Australia.

The longer cruises will satisfy the needs of anyone that wants to explore more. There are 9- to 12-night cruises to New Zealand, including a pair of festive 9- and 11-night sailings for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

A returning favorite


Voyager of the Seas will come back to Australia in December 2025 and feature a stop in a new port of call, Luganville, Vanuatu.

Voyager's itineraries include 7- to 9-night cruises to Noumea, New Caledonia, and Port Vila, Luganville and Mystery Island, Vanuatu, which includes two 8- and 9-night cruises over Christmas and the New Year.

There are also longer 12-night sailings from Singapore to Australia in December. These sailings will visit places such as Benoa, Bali, and Darwin and Airlie Beach, Australia. Plus, there are as many as 10 shorter 4-, 6- and 7-night trips that visit Airlie Beach and Cairns, Australia.

Wiggly sailings

The Wiggles

For the families out there, look for a series of Wiggly Cruises.

There will be six new Wiggly Cruises that are part of a new partnership between Royal Caribbean and The Wiggles.

The Wiggles

The sailings are between November 2025 and April 2026 and feature the Wiggly Friends, which are a group of secondary characters in The Wiggles. 

Young kids and their loved ones can look forward to character events, live concerts, exclusive Royal Caribbean x The Wiggles merchandise and more.   

Open for booking now

The new 2025-2026 cruises are available to book immediately on Royal Caribbean's website or through your travel agent. 

One more deployment left

The 2025-2026 deployment season is coming to a close, with just one more deployment left to announce.

During the week of May 13, 2024, Royal Caribbean will reveal its Singapore sailings between October 2025 - April 2026.

Australia & South Pacific cruise guide: Best itineraries, planning tips and things to do

09 Feb 2024

Australia cruises can take you to the most beautiful, exotic, and alluring places in the world. From the world famous beaches of Sydney to the turquoise waters of Bora Bora, each itinerary has hidden gems and beautiful places to visit.

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney Australia

Perhaps no itineraries are as diverse as those departing from Australia, where you can choose between a selection of diverse itineraries departing from Brisbane and Sydney.

There are three main itineraries offered in the Australian cruise market: Australia cruises, South Pacific cruises, and New Zealand cruises.

Whether you want to sail through Milford Sound, island hop through New Caledonia, or explore the rugged landscapes of Tasmania, you’re sure to find an itinerary to match your travel style.

beach on Lifou Loyalty Island

Royal Caribbean sails from Australia during the southern hemisphere’s summer season, and cruises are offered from November to early April each year. During the off-season, Royal Caribbean does not sail in this region.

Interested in taking a Royal Caribbean cruise from Australia? We’re sharing our ultimate guide for planning cruises to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

Which Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail from Australia, and from where do they sail?

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney

Depending on the season, ship deployments to Australia can vary, but Royal Caribbean always sends at least two ships to Australia.

The most common ships sailing cruises in the Australia market are Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, who call Australia home for several months each year. These ships are both in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class, one of the cruise line’s most modern and innovative classes of ships.

Related: All about Quantum Class ships

The two vessels were launched in 2014 and 2016, respectively, making them relatively new amongst others in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Due to this, passengers can expect updated accommodations, entertainment venues, and restaurants onboard.

Ovation of the Seas indoor pool

Both ships feature Two70, an indoor entertainment venue with 270 degree views of the ship’s wake. By night, this venue transforms into a technology-focused production venue with robotic dancing television screens, floor-to-ceiling wall projections, and innovative song and dance performances.

Thrilling activities are another highlight of the Quantum Class, and each ship offers activities including bumper cars, an indoor skydiving simulator, and the North Star, a 360 degree observation pod rising 300 feet above sea level from the ship’s pool deck.

Currently, Quantum of the Seas sails from Brisbane, Australia whereas Ovation of the Seas sails from Sydney.

Other Royal Caribbean ships may occasionally be deployed to Australia, such as smaller Radiance Class ships, but passengers can always expect Quantum Class ships to offer cruises in the region.

Australia cruise itineraries

Sydney opera house

Cruising from an Australia cruise port does not mean you have to leave Australia and visit another country. Domestic cruise itineraries are offered from both Sydney and Brisbane, which visit ports only in Australia.

Most cruises within Australia take one of three routes. Cruises heading north visit Australia’s state of Queensland, a region known for the Great Barrier Reef, ancient rainforests, and diverse wildlife.

Cruising to Queensland means guests have the chance to snorkel amongst the world’s largest reef system, discover the magical Whitsunday Islands, and walk along the streets of Cairns and Airlie Beach.

scuba diving on the great barrier reef

Related: I tried my first Australia cruise: here are 7 things that surprised me

Another cruise itinerary offered within Australia is to Tasmania. Australia’s southernmost state, the island of Tasmania, is far different from the tropical beaches up north. The state features spectacular mountain scenery, such as the snow capped Mount Wellington, and British-inspired architecture and cuisine in the state’s capital of Hobart.

Lastly, Australia cruises are offered to South Australia, which visit cities such as Adelaide and Melbourne. Highlights of visiting South Australia include driving along the Great Ocean Road and exploring one of the country’s most famous wine regions.

Great Ocean Road australia

Royal Caribbean may sometimes offer cruises to other destinations in Australia, such as itineraries circumnavigating the continent, but these are not offered every season.

Most domestic cruise itineraries in Australia are between six and eight nights. Overnight port stops are common in some cities, including Hobart and Cairns.

South Pacific cruise itineraries

beach in Mystery Island Vanuatu

The Pacific Ocean is home to approximately 30,000 islands, and you can visit a select few of these islands on cruise itineraries to the South Pacific.

Cruises from Australia to the South Pacific visit the islands closest to Australia. Most commonly, these itineraries visit islands in the French territory of New Caledonia and the Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

New Caledonia offers breathtaking beaches along with linguistic, cultural, and culinary influences from France. Most itineraries visit Noumea, the capital and largest city of the region, whereas others may include visits to the smaller, lesser known Loyalty Islands.

Related: 15 countries you didn't know you could cruise to on Royal Caribbean

Vanuatu, on the other hand, is quite different from French New Caledonia. The island chain is an independent country and is part of Melanesia, a subregion of Oceania that has been inhabited by the indigenous Melanesian people for over 3,000 years. Today, most inhabitants speak both English and the local language of Bislama.

beach in Lifou Loyalty Islands

Most South Pacific itineraries stop in Port Vila, the nation’s capital, and others include a stop at Mystery Island, a tiny, uninhabited island that offers a picture-perfect day in paradise.

Notably, Royal Caribbean is set to launch Perfect Day at Lelepa in the coming years, a private destination in Vanuatu on Lelepa Island, just a few miles off the coast from Port Vila.

Regardless of the itinerary, all South Pacific cruises offer a tropical getaway for passengers, transporting them from the hustle and bustle of Australia’s cities to the region’s tranquil, white sand beaches.

While visiting the South Pacific, many passengers enjoy activities such as snorkeling, cultural island tours, and kayaking. Itineraries range from seven night cruises visiting two islands to longer, more port-intensive ten night itineraries.

New Zealand cruise itineraries

Milford Sound New Zealand

New Zealand is a dream cruise destination for passengers who love exploring the outdoors. The country’s volcanic landscapes, dramatic fjords, and quaint towns provide endless opportunities for adventures on each port day.

Royal Caribbean does not offer cruises departing from New Zealand; rather, cruises to the country depart from Australia. Traveling to New Zealand requires two sea days in each direction from Sydney and three from Brisbane, but it’s well worth the travel time.

Depending on the itinerary, a New Zealand cruise will visit a variety of ports in both the North and South Island. While visiting the country, passengers can discover Hobbiton in Matamata, skydive in Queenstown, see penguins near Dunedin, and enjoy a scenic cruising day along Milford Sound.

Most New Zealand cruise itineraries are between ten and fourteen nights. Itineraries include a mix of port days where passengers disembark the ship, but they also include sailing days where passengers can marvel at New Zealand’s natural wonders while staying onboard.

Transpacific cruise itineraries

Mo'orea French Polynesia beach

The last type of cruise itinerary offered from Australia are transpacific cruises.

Each October, Royal Caribbean repositions at least two ships from North America to Australia. In April, the cruise line returns the ships to North America after the Australia cruise season has ended.

Instead of sailing an empty ship from one continent to another, passengers can book these transpacific cruise itineraries, which are broken into two legs.

On route to Australia, the first leg is a cruise from Vancouver, Canada to Hawaii. The second departs from Honolulu and ends in Sydney or Brisbane, Australia, calling upon ports in the South Pacific and/or New Zealand along the way.

Related: Ultimate Hawaii cruise guide

In April, these itineraries are offered in reverse.

Transpacific cruises have many sea days, with the first leg around ten nights and the second up to eighteen or nineteen nights. They provide the chance to visit more remote destinations, such as French Polynesia, which you cannot visit any other way on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Land versus cruise vacation from Australia

Brilliance of the Seas pool deck

Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific are, arguably, best visited by cruise ship instead of a land vacation.

Most major attractions in this region of the world are conveniently located along the coast, whether the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Dusky Sound in New Zealand, or island of Lifou in New Caledonia.

Despite that, destinations in these regions can be very far away from each other. Rather than booking expensive flights from island to island in the South Pacific, for example, you can visit multiple islands in one week on a cruise.

Because transportation logistics are handled by the cruise line and not yourself, you can enjoy leisurely evenings onboard as your ship travels from place to place. And, once you arrive in port, you will not incur lengthy travel times from the port to the city like you would in a destination such as Rome or Paris.

When is the best time to cruise to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific?

Kuranda train Queensland Australia

As mentioned, Royal Caribbean only sails from Australia from early November to April each year, coinciding with the warmest weather in the region. Because cruises are offered to such a wide range of destinations, though, the “best” time to cruise in one region could differ from another.

If you’re planning a cruise to New Zealand, for example, you won’t find many cruise itineraries in the early part of November. Because November is still springtime in New Zealand, most cruises to the country are not offered until later in the month.

Related: When is the best time to go on a cruise?

Instead, most itineraries in November visit ports in the South Pacific and within Australia. During this month, temperatures are more comfortable than in the peak of summer. Additionally, ports may not be as busy as the school year is still in session.

beach in Mystery Island Vanuatu

Throughout December, January, and February, you can expect higher temperatures and humidity, along with higher crowds during the summer school holidays. These months offer the best weather for cruises to New Zealand, but you should prepare for hot, rainy port days in tropical destinations.

The late season, from March to April, brings lower prices and more comfortable temperatures.

What to bring on a cruise to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific


Packing for a cruise vacation can be stressful, especially if you’re cruising to a destination you have not visited before. For cruises from Australia, packing needs will vary greatly depending on your itinerary.

If you're traveling to the South Pacific and Queensland, packing beach attire is essential. Be sure to bring several swimsuits along with a beach bag, comfortable sandals, and a sun hat. Some beaches may have rocky shores, so wearing sturdy sandals or sneakers is preferred over flip flops.

Although you can often rent snorkeling gear in these regions, packing your own snorkel mask and fins will be more cost-effective and convenient, especially if your itinerary includes several beach days.

snorkel masks

Related: 40 essential things to bring on a cruise

If your cruise visits South Australia and Tasmania, be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes for city tours. You’ll also want to bring a jacket, especially for Tasmania cruises, as weather can be quite unpredictable in this part of the country.

For cruises to New Zealand, it’s just as important to be prepared for unexpected weather. Packing layers is crucial, as the country is known for experiencing all four seasons in a single day! If you have cruised to Alaska before, you’ll find packing tips similar, with rain-resistant gear and warm layers required.

What currency do I use on a cruise from Australia?

Australian banknotes

Because cruises from Australia can visit ports not only within Australia but also in New Zealand and the South Pacific, it can be confusing to know which currency to use in each port.

In most case scenarios, the best situation when making purchases in several different countries is to use a credit card. Making card payments means you will not have to worry about converting currencies or taking out several types of currency at ATMs.

Yet while card payments will be widely accepted in Australia, New Zealand, and the bigger cities in the South Pacific like Noumea and Port Vila, you may need cash when visiting smaller islands.

Related: How much cash should you bring on a cruise?

Many ports in Vanuatu will accept Australian dollars, and the immediate port areas in New Caledonia will do so as well. However, you shouldn’t try to use U.S. dollars, euros, or other currencies in any port destination on a cruise from Australia, unless your tour operator specifies the currency will be accepted.

beach in Santo Island Vanuatu

If you’re cruising to the South Pacific, it’s recommended to bring Australian dollars to cover expenses such as souvenirs, food in port, and excursions not booked through the cruise line.

Be sure to take out Australian dollars at an ATM prior to embarking a Royal Caribbean cruise. ATMs onboard your ship will dispense U.S. dollars instead of Australian dollars, and the exchange rate offered at Guest Services is abysmal.

Check out our other guides to Royal Caribbean cruise destinations:

I tried my first Australia cruise: here are 7 things that surprised me

26 Dec 2023

Last month I flew across the world to take a cruise from Australia for the first time. My 10-night cruise embarked in Sydney and called upon five ports in the South Pacific. During my time onboard, there were a few aspects of the Australian cruise experience that surprised me.

Jenna took her first cruise to Australia

Each cruise market is unique. Whether you’re planning a cruise from Shanghai or Miami, you can expect subtle differences in menus, restaurant choices, entertainment, and the onboard culture.

After taking my first cruise from the United Kingdom last year, I noticed several differences between cruising from the United States versus England, such as menu differences in the dining room to the passenger demographic.

Related: I tried my first cruise from the UK: here’s what you should know

For that reason, when I booked my first cruise from Australia—a country I had never visited before—I knew I might encounter differences in the Royal Caribbean experience compared to cruises in the North American market.

As I embarked my cruise on Brilliance of the Seas, though, I did not encounter as many differences as I predicted. For the most part, my experience onboard felt identical to cruising from the United States (albeit with a few more Australian accents).

However, there were a few surprises I encountered on my first cruise from Australia. From the exchange rate to the quiet ports, here are 7 things that surprised me during my time down under.

Flying to Australia was not as hard as I thought it would be

It’s no secret that Australia is isolated from much of the world. Therefore, when I was planning a cruise from Australia, the flight was the aspect of the vacation I was looking forward to the least.

Although you can fly from the eastern United States to some European cruise ports, such as Rome and Barcelona, within seven or eight hours, the same cannot be said about Australia. The shortest direct flight to Sydney from the continental United States is from Los Angeles, and even then it takes fifteen hours!

Fortunately I am based on the west coast, so I was able to book this “short” flight to Australia. Surprisingly, while spending fifteen hours in an airplane is not necessarily enjoyable, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Considering it usually takes eleven or twelve hours to fly directly from California to Europe, the extra few hours were not a big deal. And even though I connected in Los Angeles from a smaller airport, my overall travel day was not as miserable as I initially predicted.

For those American cruisers based on the west coast, getting to Australia is not much more difficult than traveling to Europe.

Doing back-to-back cruises is worth it when traveling all the way to Australia

If you’re traveling all the way to Australia for a cruise, why not book two cruises? One thing that surprised me when planning a cruise from Australia was the variety of itinerary options.

Whereas a ship could visit the fjords of New Zealand one week, it might sail to picture-perfect Pacific islands the next. If you plan your travels correctly, you can book back-to-back cruises visiting vastly different landscapes and cultures.

Flights to Australia aren’t cheap, and booking back-to-back cruises helps spread out the cost of your flight over a longer period of time. If you have the vacation time, it’s worth booking two itineraries instead of one.

Related: Back-to-back cruises tips and advice

If you opt not to do a back-to-back cruise, be sure to include at least a few days before or after the cruise to sightsee within Australia. Although I did not book back-to-back cruises for my trip, I arrived in the country over a week before my cruise was set to begin.

This gave me time to explore some of the country’s highlights, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, before returning to Sydney to board my cruise.

Domestic itineraries are offered in Australia, which isn’t allowed in the United States

One major difference between cruises departing from Australia versus the United States is that Australia offers domestic itineraries.

Due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act in the United States, all foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from an American port are required to stop in at least one foreign port prior to returning to the United States.

This is why you will never see cruise itineraries visiting only ports in the United States. While a cruise from New York, as an example, may include port stops in Florida, they will always visit a foreign port, too, whether in The Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean.

In Australia, though, this type of law does not apply. You can cruise from Sydney to ports along the coast of Queensland without the requirement to stop in another country.

You can visit the wineries of South Australia, marvel at panoramic views of Tasmania from Mount Wellington, scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, and sail along the Whitsundays in Airlie Beach all without leaving Australia.

Plus, because most Australian cities are directly on the coast, cruising is a convenient way to experience these destinations.

Embarkation in Sydney is extremely convenient

Sydney’s cruise port is in Sydney Harbour, and it is perhaps the most conveniently located cruise port in the world. The port, otherwise known as the Overseas Passenger Terminal, is located in Circular Quay, which is directly in the city center.

Reaching the port on embarkation day is easy and stress-free. Passengers traveling from the airport can hop on a 20-minute train traveling from the airport to Sydney Harbour. Those staying in downtown hotels can walk to the port within a few minutes.

Related: 15 Royal Caribbean boarding process tips for a fast embarkation

Even if you’re not staying near Circular Quay, a short Uber ride can bring you to the port quickly.

Once at the terminal, I found the embarkation process to be straightforward. I was onboard Brilliance of the Seas within fifteen minutes of my arrival at the port.

As another plus, as your ship leaves Circular Quay, you will sail past famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, leading to absolutely spectacular views during sailaway.

The current exchange rate makes visiting Australia beneficial for American tourists

If you’re an American planning a cruise from Australia, you’ll find the current exchange rate between the US dollar and Australian dollar to work in your favor. Currently, $1 AUD is equal to $0.67 USD.

Although Australia can be an expensive country to visit, the exchange rate means Americans' dollars will go further in the country. That $100 AUD shore excursion is more like $70 USD, and a $20 AUD meal will only set you back around $14.

I found it easier to stick to my vacation budget with the exchange rate working in my favor, and it allowed me to “splurge” more on add-ons like shore excursions, drinks, and souvenirs.

Those visiting from the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe will also find the exchange rate beneficial. $1 AUD is equal to only $0.53 GBP and $0.61 Euro.

The South Pacific islands are not as commercialized as those in the Caribbean

Another aspect of cruising from Australia that surprised me was the lack of commercialization at island ports.

I love visiting the Caribbean, but I often find the commercialization of cruise ports to be overwhelming. It’s hard to escape the massive amounts of crowds and find authentic experiences in the busiest cruise ports.

Related: 10 Royal Caribbean cruise destinations not to be missed

During my South Pacific cruise itinerary, I visited five islands in the French territory of New Caledonia and the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Although these islands do receive tourists, I found them to have a more tranquil vibe compared to busy ports like Nassau and Cozumel.

Beaches were less crowded and fewer restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops were available—there was a noticeable lack of Señor Frogs and jewelry stores. I preferred the calmer atmosphere of these beautiful destinations, and I never felt taken advantage of as a cruise tourist when visiting islands in the South Pacific.

The last thing that surprised me about cruising from Australia is how eager I would be to go back

When I first planned my cruise from Australia, I assumed it would be a “one and done” place for me. I tried to fit as much as I could into my three-week trip, both in Australia and around the South Pacific islands, just in case I never made it back to the region.

I knew I would enjoy visiting Australia and the South Pacific, but I didn’t expect to love the country so much. Whether exploring Sydney’s buzzing streets, walking the esplanade in Cairns, or lounging on the beach in Mystery Island, every aspect of my trip exceeded my expectations.

Leaving Australia, I already couldn’t wait to plan a trip back. Whether that means booking a domestic cruise to South Australia or a 12-night sailing to New Zealand, I am already hoping to return to Australia soon.

Royal Caribbean announces 2024-2025 Australia and New Zealand cruises

21 Apr 2023

Royal Caribbean has released their itineraries for the 2024-2025 Australia cruise season. 

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney Harbor

The season will kick off with two repositioning cruises, the first of which will be on Ovation of the Seas and depart from Honolulu, Hawaii on October 13, 2024. Quantum of the Seas will follow suit a few weeks later, departing from Singapore on November 19, 2024. 

Both ships will remain in Australia through April 2025 and will offer cruises ranging from 2- to 14-nights, excluding the 19-night repositioning cruise on Ovation of the Seas, from Brisbane and Sydney.

Below is a breakdown of all the Australia and New Zealand itineraries that Royal Caribbean is offering in 2024 and 2025 that will go on sale to the public on May 4. 

Ovation of the Seas

Great Pacific Crossing

Ovation of the Seas on a sunny day

The season begins when Ovation of the Seas sails from Honolulu, Hawaii to Sydney on October 13, 2024. This 19-night cruise will visit Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea, Auckland, and Bay of Islands before arriving in Australia.

Sydney Getaway

Ovation of the Seas will make four cruises to nowhere. These 2- and 3-night weekend cruises are great short getaways for those looking for explore the ship, as the do not visit any ports of call. They will depart on November 1 and December 15, 2024, as well as February 20 and March 22, 2025. 

South Pacific Adventure

There will be five South Pacific Adventure cruises that visit Mystery Island, Port Vila, and Noumea and last either 8- or 9-nights. Note that depending on which sailing is chosen, the order of the ports may change.

The 9-night cruises depart on November 4, 2024; February 23, 2025; and April 3, 2025. In fact, this itinerary will be the last before Ovation of the Seas departs Australia at the end of the season on April 12. 

There are also two 8-night versions of this itinerary: January 7 and 15, 2025. 

Sunshine State Sun-Soaker

The 8- and 7-night Sunshine State Sun-Soaker cruises depart on November 13, 2024 and January 23, 2025, respectively. The first will visit Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Willis Island (cruising), with the latter skipping Willis Island due to the shorter itinerary length. 

Escape to the South


Both Escape to the South cruises are 7-nights and will sail to Adelaide and Hobart from Sydney. The first departs on November 21, 2024, with the second leaving a few months later on March 15, 2025.

New Zealand Wonders


The New Zealand Wonders cruise is one of the longest that is offered on Ovation of the Seas during the 2024-2025 season. Each sailing lasts either 10- or 11-nights!

Those on this cruise will visit (in no particular order) Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Picton, before returning to Sydney. The 11-night sailing includes an additional stop in Napier.

The New Zealand Wonders cruises departs on November 28, 2024; February 9, 2025; and March 24, 2025. 

South Pacific Splendour

There is only one South Pacific Splendor sailing, and it departs on December 8, 2024. Passengers on this 7-night cruise will get to explore Noumea and Mystery Island, plus five fun days at sea to explore everything the ship has to offer. 

Holiday cruises

Auckland, New Zealand

Both holiday cruises onboard Ovation of the Seas are 10-nights and sail to New Zealand. 

The first, New Zealand Christmas, departs Sydney on December 18, 2024 and will stop in Wellington, Picton, Christchurch, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Milford Sound. 

New Year's in Zealand will leave on December 28, 2024, and you will get to ring in the New Year onboard while visiting Picton, Tauranaga, Auckland, and Bay of Islands. 

South Pacific Explorer


The only South Pacific Explorer cruise sails to Noumea, Mystery Island, and Port Vila. Note, though, that it is an overnight stop in Port Vila! This is the only cruise on Ovation of the Seas during the 2024-2025 Australia season to offer an overnight stay in any port of call. 

The cruise departs on January 30, 2025. 

New Zealand Wanderer

This 11-night cruise combines some of the highlights of both New Zealand holiday cruises, visiting Auckland, Tauranaga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, and Picton. 

Quantum of the Seas

Singapore to Brisbane

Side of Quantum of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas moves to Australia a little bit later than Ovation. She will not begin her repositioning trip until November 19, 2024. This 12-night cruise will depart from Singapore and visit Lombok, Darwin, Cairns, and Airlie Beach before reaching her seasonal homeport: Brisbane. 

Sunshine State Sun-Soaker

Brisbane, Australia

For the most part, cruises on Quantum of the Seas are shorter than Ovation's. The Sunshine State Sun-Soaker itineraries, for instance, are either 4-, 5-, or 6-nights, compared to Ovation's 7- and 8-night cruises. 

After departing Brisbane, guests will visit a singular port, Airlie Beach. The 5- and 6-night cruises includes an overnight stay. 

The 4-night cruises depart on February 28 and March 10, 2025, while the 5- and 6-night cruises leave Brisbane on December 1, 2024 and January 4, 2025. 

South Pacific Splendour

While there is only one South Pacific Splendor sailing on Ovation of the Seas, this is one of Quantum's most frequent sailings during the 2024-2025 Australia season. 

The 7-night cruises depart on December 6, 2024; January 10, 2025; January 17, 2025; January 24, 2025; February 7, 2025; February 28, 2025; and March 28, 2025. 

Ports of call include a mix of Mystery Island, Noumea, and Port Vila. A total of two stops will be made on each cruise. 

South Pacific Adventure

Both South Pacific Adventure cruises are 8-nights and visit Noumea, Mystery Island, and Port Vila. They depart on December 13, 2024 and February 13, 2025. 

Holiday cruises


Quantum of the Seas' holiday cruises are shorter than Ovation's. The 7-night South Pacific Christmas cruise departs on December 21, 2024 and sails to Port Vila and Mystery Island. 

On December 28, 2024, Quantum of the Seas will depart on the South Pacific NYE cruise and visit Noumea and Mystery Island. 

Brisbane Getaway


There will be three cruises to nowhere. These 2- and 3-night weekend cruises do not visit any ports of call, so they are good for those looking for a short getaway to take advantage of everything the Quantum Class ship has to offer. 

The 2-night cruise departs on February 22, 2025, while the 3-night sailings leave Brisbane on January 31 and March 7, 2025. 

New Zealand Wonders


The 14-night New Zealand Wonders cruise is the longest itinerary for Quantum of the Seas while based in Australia. It will depart on March 14, 2025 and visit Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Milford Sound.  

This is also the only cruise to New Zealand from Brisbane during the 2024-2025 Australia season. 

What can you do while you wait for bookings to open?

With the announcement of new Australia bookings, I is time to get excited and began preparing for your next trip. 

Go ahead and reach out to a travel agent about what cruise you might be interested in. If you are not sure, you can talk about your preferences and interests, and they will help guide you through the decision. 

You can begin to think about how long you want to be gone, as well what what type of cabin you would like to stay in. 

Taking just a few steps ahead of time can save you a lot of stress when bookings open up!

Royal Caribbean announces Covid-19 protocols for Australia cruises

09 Aug 2022

Royal Caribbean announced its health protocols for cruise ships sailing from Australia during the upcoming cruise season.

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney Harbor

These include government mandates and boarding day requirements.

Royal Caribbean warned that protocols can likely change between now and when your sailing may occur.

Health policies

Sydney opera house

All guests must review and acknowledge they have read and accepted their obligation to comply with Australian Government protocols and Royal Caribbean supplementary terms and conditions.

All guests, including Australians citizens, must ensure they meet Australia’s international border entry requirements, including vaccination status, visa, and travel exemption requirements.

Vaccine Requirements

Passport and immunization record card

Per Australian Federal and State Government guidelines for cruising, at least 95% of guests must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.

All guests ages 12 & older will need to present proof of full vaccination approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration),  at the terminal in order to sail. 

Full vaccination requires that guests have all doses of their Covid-19 vaccine completed no less than 14 days prior to sailing.

Australia Vaccine Passport

Children ages 11 and under, and guests with medical exemptions, are permitted to travel however there is a limit on the number of unvaccinated guests that can travel on each cruise departure.

If you are travelling with unvaccinated children under the age of 12, or if anyone in your travel party is unvaccinated due to a medical exemption, please be sure to advise Royal Caribbean of their vaccination status by contacting your travel advisor, completing our form sent 7 days after your booking is created, or by calling your local office directly.


Radiance Class ship in Australia


Before arriving on boarding day, it is likely that all guests travelling with us will need to receive a negative COVID-19 test on their own, at their own expense, to meet boarding requirements in line with Australian Federal and State Government guidance.

Please note: More information regarding testing requirements will be made available closer to your sailing.


At the cruise terminal, it is likely that masks will be required.

Onboard, it is likely that masks will be optional for vaccinated guests and recommended for unvaccinated children while onboard.

Some of the destinations may require masks. Guests under 2 years of age will not need to wear a mask.

Dining & Other Venues

Mariner of the Seas dining room

Tables and chairs in all the dining areas onboard are sanitized frequently.

Shore Excursions

Brisbane, Australia

Requirements for going ashore are subject to change as circumstances evolve, and we will continue to update booked guests of any requirements for their upcoming sailing via email.

Royal Caribbean announces Australia 2023-2024 cruise season lineup

22 Mar 2022

Royal Caribbean has released its plans for cruises down under in 2023-2024.

Three cruise ships will sail from Australia: Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas.

"It’s thrilling to welcome back two Quantum Class ships Down Under, demonstrating Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the region. Plus, because there’s always more room for adventure with Royal Caribbean, we’ve taken the opportunity to bring Enchantment of the Seas to Australia to offer unique sailings that visit new destinations we know our guests are excited to explore," said Gavin Smith, managing director of Australia and New Zealand, Royal Caribbean International.

"We look forward to even more guests, their loved ones and families creating memories while holidaying with us in several of the most spectacular places on earth."

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney | Royal Caribbean Blog

Here's a look at each of the ships sailing from Australia:

Quantum of the Seas

Homeport: Brisbane

Following its first summer season in Brisbane in 2022, Quantum of the Seas returns to offer 3- to 13-night cruises.

Itineraries include visits to destinations in Queensland, such as Airlie Beach and Cairns, Queensland. Longer sailings visit places in the South Pacific, such as Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Noumea, New Caledonia.

Ovation of the Seas

Homeport: Sydney

Ovation of the Seas will sail from Australia for the fifth season and offer a series of 9- to 11-night cruises around New Zealand, including Milford Sound, Wellington and Bay of Islands. 

There are also 3- to 9- night cruises around Australia that visit Hobart, Adelaide and Eden; as well as cruises to the South Pacific islands.

Enchantment of the Seas

Homeport: Sydney

Enchantment of the Seas will sail from Australia for the first time, and she will visit some brand new destinations for any Royal Caribbean ship, such as Kangaroo Island and Gladstone, Australia. 

Royal Caribbean has arranged a series of 8- to 11- night cruises to the South Pacific that visit Raiatea, French Polynesia; Isle of Pines, Mare; and Lifou, New Caledonia.

If you have the time, check out the 34-night circumnavigation cruise that visits all of Australia and New Zealand by booking a combination of two itineraries.


These new sailings are available to book immediately.

To sweeten the deal, Royal Caribbean is offering half-price deposits for sailings booked by Australians between March 23 and April 5.

Australia cruise ship ban will end on April 17

15 Mar 2022

Australia will finally end its ban on cruise ships from operating in its waters due to Covid-19.

The Australian government announced it will not renew its ban on international cruise ships arriving and departing from Australian ports as of April 17, 2022.

Similar to the United States last year, Australia had a ban in place since early 2020 that prohibited foreign-flagged cruise ships from operating.

Based on medical advice, the government came to the conclusion it was time for the ban to end.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the decision allow the ban to lapse is based on medical advice and it is now up to states to reopen ports.

"On the basis of medical advice and with the agreement of National Cabinet, lifting the cruise ban is consistent with the reopening of Australia's international border and shows that we have successfully navigated Australia's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Hunt said.

Cruise ships sailing from Australia will have to adhere to a series of requirements:

  • Enhanced pre-arrival reporting and identification of COVID-19 risk through more questions of passengers and improved processes.
  • Amendments to the Biosecurity (Negative pratique) Instrument 2016 to ensure cruise vessels always arrive in negative pratique (that is, permission to unload passengers and cargo).
  • Stress testing of the emergency response system in relation to cruises.
  • Engaging with the cruise industry on safe resumption.
  • Passengers will be required to be double vaccinated.

According to the cruise industry, Australia's cruise ship ban cost the economy $10 billion.

Ships returning

Royal Caribbean told local media in Australia that its ships won't return to Sydney until October 21st, with the first due in Brisbane on November 9th.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum and Ovation of the Seas are committed to an Alaska season until September.

"We are delighted that after two years, we have an approved pathway to work with state governments to determine the roadmap for a safe return," a spokeswoman said.

Other cruise lines will return to Australia, with some making it back as early as May.

Carnival Cruise Line will begin cruising from Sydney on October 5th.

P&O Cruises will restart on May 31st with the Pacific Explorer.

Holland American Line's Noordam will sail from Sydney beginning on November 12.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth will arrive on November 7 in Perth.

Royal Caribbean brings back double points promotion for Australians

16 Feb 2022

Australia hasn't seen a cruise ship in over two years, and Royal Caribbean is looking to ease their pain with extra loyalty points.

Royal Caribbean extends double point offer through December 2022 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean informed Australian residents that they would be able to take advantage of the Double Points promotion due to their government's halt of cruising.

In an email to Crown and Anchor Society guests, Royal Caribbean said any bookings made by Australian members through 31st March 2022 for sailings departing prior to 30th April 2023 will qualify for double points.

Australians don't need to do anything special to qualify for the promotion, as it will automatically apply the benefit.

Australia | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean said part of the reason it brought back the promotion was because many Australians were unable to go on cruises they had booked in the past, "Over the last year, we’ve received many comments and feedback on our Double Points promotion which you were unable to participate in due to the halt on domestic and international cruising for Australians."

"We also know Australians simply can’t wait to get back to enjoying the world class experiences onboard our ships."

Here is the breakdown of the points you will receive under the Double Points offer:

 Standard Cruise PointsDouble Cruise PointsTotal Number of Cruise Points Awarded
Cruise1 point per night1 additional point per night2 points per night
Single Cruiser2 point per night2 additional point per night4 points per night
Suite2 point per night2 additional point per night4 points per night
Single Cruiser & Suite3 point per night3 additional point per night6 points per night

The Double Points promo was initially offered to everyone during the height of the pandemic in 2020-2021 as a means to spur new bookings and compel customers from cancelling cruises well into the future.

The program cut off new bookings that qualified for double points on September 30, 2021, but ever since guests have been clamoring for its return.

The reason why cruise fans loved the aura of double points is because it allowed them to move up the loyalty program tier significantly faster.

By earning more points, you can reach the higher tiers of Crown and Anchor Society faster, and there are some really lucrative benefits for reaching the Diamond and Diamond Plus tiers.

Complimentary alcoholic drinks, balcony discounts, complimentary photos, and reserved seating at shows are just some of the great freebies guests who reach the top tiers of Crown and Anchor Society can expect.

Moreover, this type of offer has rarely been seen.  Previous extra point offers were much more restrictive and have not been made available for a while.

In November 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said the Double Points offer would return someday, but only "strategically".

"You'll see more of that coming, but it's not going to be a blanket open book."

Royal Caribbean cancels Australia 2021-2022 cruise season

13 Oct 2021

While cruises have been able to restart in the United States and Europe, Australia will have to wait another year for cruise ships to return.

Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday morning in Australia it has had to cancel its Australia 2021-2022 season.

"A clear pathway for the return of cruising is yet to be established by the Australian Government. As a result, we’ve reviewed our Australia 2021-2022 season."

This affects scheduled Ovation of the Seas sailings from Sydney between December 13, 2021 - March 31, 2022.

Australia still has a cruise ship travel ban that runs through December 17, 2021.

The cruise line said in a statement, "We know this news is disappointing, and we’re sorry for the impact to your holiday plans."

The cruise line added that it is still working with Australian officials to find a way to resume sailings there, "We are proactively engaging with Federal and State governments to recommence cruising in Australia and will provide updates as they come to hand.​"

Guests booked on cancelled sailings have the choice of a 125% future cruise credit that they can use by April 30, 2022, Lift and Shift to a new sailing on the Australian 2022-2023 season, or 100% refund.

The Ovation of the Seas cancellation comes a few months after Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises from Australia on four ships.

Since March 27, 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters.  The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.

Cruise Passenger, an Australian site about cruising, quotes sources that say the Australian government has ignored requests for talks for a safe and phased approach to a cruise restart from Cruise Lines International Association Australasia. 

Royal Caribbean cancels Australia cruises due to uncertainty in travel restrictions

06 Jul 2021

While cruise ships are once again sailing in North America and Europe, Australia remains left out of the restart plans.

Royal Caribbean informed guests with booked sailings for the 2021-2022 season the ships scheduled to sail to and from Down Under will no longer do so.

Royal Caribbean described the current situation in Australia as "quite fluid", and announced a redeployment of ships.

Australia still has a cruise ship travel ban that runs through September 2021.

"Due to ongoing uncertainty with the re-opening of international borders, as well as subsequent changes to our global return to service scope, we’ve made a few adjustments to our upcoming itinerary offerings that we want to make you aware of. "

Quantum of the Seas will stay in Singapore, instead of sailing from Brisbane, Australia beginning October 30, 2021.

Instead, the extension of the Singapore season for Quantum of the Seas will run through February 2022. This marks the third season extension for Quantum in Singapore, which first returned to cruising in December 2020. 

To date, on 60-plus ocean getaways, more than 82,000 guests have safely sailed with zero occurrences of COVID-19 on board.

Voyager of the Seas was originally scheduled to sail from Beijing (Tianjin), China beginning in August 2021 and Singapore as of November 2021, the decision has been made to suspend Voyager’s sailings through March 2022. 

Ovation of the Seas will get 4 new sailings added to the tail end of her 2021 Alaska cruise season instead of heading to Australia in September 2021.

Serenade of the Seas has had her repositioning sailings departing September 26 and October 7, 2021 cancelled.

Guests booked on one of the cancelled cruises will have the choice of a 100% refund, 125% future cruise credit, or Lift & Shift for Ovation Sept 20 - Oct 16 only.

Royal Caribbean says it is doing what it can in the meantime to work with Australian authorities to get permission to sail again, "We also continue to engage with Federal and State governments to recommence cruising in Australia and will provide updates as and when they come to hand. "

Since March 27, 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters.  The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.

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