Australia

Australia extends ban on cruise ships until September 17

In:
22May2020

The Australian Border Force announced it has extended its ban on cruise ships until September 17, 2020.

The Australian Border Force said in a statement: "On 15 May 2020, the Governor-General has extended the human biosecurity emergency period for an additional three months, from 17 June to 17 September 2020. This has enabled the Minister for Health to continue to exercise the emergency powers under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19."

"On 20 May 2020, the Minister for Health extended the determination to prohibit the arrival at an Australian port of any international cruise ship that has left a foreign port. The restrictions included direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises."

The ban prohibits any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers is prohibited from operating cruises in Australia, including direct arrivals and round trip cruises.

The ban was put into place on March 27, and was set to expire in June.

"The Australian Border Force has been in constant contact with the cruise industry which has been cooperative and understands the Government's overwhelming priority to ensure the health and safety of the broader Australian community," the ABF said in a statement.

Sydney's third cruise ship terminal delayed by 18 months

In:
Category: 
11Apr2020

Plans for a new cruise ship terminal are delayed for 18 months due to the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the impact the cruise industry has felt as a result of the worldwide shutdown has created cause for concern about the project.

The plan was to build a new cruise terminal at Yarra Bay, but that has been "put on hold with all industry and community engagement suspended".

"[The terminal is] not a priority for government or industry at this time. We're still in the middle of a COVID crisis," he said.

Maroubra MP and former state Labor leader Michael Daley indicated Royal Caribbean believes the cruise industry in Australia needs a cruise terminal east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in order to grow.

Daley added Royal Caribbean was willing to work with the government on such a project, but did not mention in what capacity or with any funding.

Photos: Spectrum of the Seas arrives in Sydney, Australia

In:
27Feb2020

Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas arrived in Sydney, Australia this week after the impact of Coronavirus in Asia forced Royal Caribbean to redeploy her away from the region.

Royal Caribbean announced two weeks ago it would reposition Spectrum of the Seas to Australia as a gesture to thank the humanitarian efforts put forth to combat the wildfires.

Aaron Armitage took photos of Spectrum of the Seas in Sydney Harbour, marking her arrival.

When circumstances improve in China, Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley said, Royal Caribbean International will dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus.

Royal Caribbean will move Spectrum of the Seas to offer complimentary cruises to Australia's first responders

In:
14Feb2020

In light of the ongoing Coronavirus issues in China, Royal Caribbean has announced it will move Spectrum of the Seas to Australia as a gesture to thank the humanitarian efforts put forth to combat the wildfires.

Spectrum of the Seas will travel to Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia's first responder community, who worked tirelessly over many weeks of the bush fire crisis.

"We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality."

Bayley made it clear Spectrum of the Seas has not been in China for more than two weeks, which makes the ship safe from possibly transporting Coronavirus.

Royal Caribbean intends to also thank those that are currently combating the spread of Coronavirus. When the situation in China improves, as it relates to Coronavirus, Royal Caribbean International will dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus.

Further details of the cruises will be shared as final itineraries are developed.

Royal Caribbean and WWF announce breakthrough in fight to save Hawksbill Turtle

In:
04Oct2019

Royal Caribbean announced a major milestone today in its fight to save the Hawksbill Turtle from extinction.

The cruise line in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia, announced a new DNA extraction test will offer scientists and conservationists vital information to track – and ultimately help end – the illegal trade of hawksbill turtle products. This is a significant breakthrough led by WWF Australia, Royal Caribbean the NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), in California, USA. 

The innovative project forms part of Royal Caribbean and WWF’s five-year global partnership to support ocean conservation and help ensure the long-term health of the seas. Turtle lovers and holidaymakers are encouraged to support Royal Caribbean and WWF’s efforts and #thinkbeforeyoubuy while traveling overseas.

Hunted for their beautiful shells, the species is now listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with the scientific community estimating as few as 6,700 breeding females remain in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Hawksbill turtles from different regions, or even some countries, are genetically distinct, and their DNA signatures can be used to identify different nesting areas. The new test will allow scientists and marine conservationists to identify which where tortoiseshell products have come from and pinpoint hawksbill turtle populations to allow for targeted conservation efforts.

The next step in the project is to build a more comprehensive genetic database of all hawksbill rookeries across Asia Pacific to help identify what populations there are in different locations to protect those most at risk from poaching. This kind of information is limited or currently unavailable and will provide vital information for wildlife managers and law enforcement to act on.

Learn more about Royal Caribbean’s partnership with WWF and their work to end the illegal turtle trade here.

Royal Caribbean’s Australian 2020/21 summer cruise season available for booking

In:
Category: 
02Apr2019

Royal Caribbean’s Australian 2020/21 summer cruise season sailings are now available for booking, which include four ships from two home ports – including Sydney and from November 2020, Brisbane’s brand new International Cruise Terminal.

More than 80 sailings are available to choose from, ranging from 2 to 19 nights to destinations in the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia.

After a three year absence, Royal Caribbean will return to home porting in Brisbane with Radiance of the Seas, fresh from a multi-million dollar makeover. Radiance will offer 22 Brisbane sailings, focusing on 7-11 night South Pacific cruises, plus three sampler cruises. 

Serenade of the Seas will sail from Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal for the first time from October 2020 to April 2021, offering 21 Sydney sailings ranging from 5 to 19 nights to a range of destinations, including the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. 

Ovation of the Seas, returns for her fifth season down under. Ovation of the Seas will offer 19 sailings from Sydney, ranging from 2 to 19 nights to destinations including the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. 

Voyager of the Seas returns to Sydney in October 2020. Voyager of the Seas will offer 22 sailings, focusing on South Pacific voyages of between 9 and 13 nights, plus three sampler cruises.

Royal Caribbean launches new shore excursions for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific

In:
27Mar2019

Royal Caribbean has released over 20 new shore excursions for the South Pacific, Australia & New Zealand.

These new tours are designed to accommodate all interest levels, and include tours such as deep sea diving in Vanuatu and helicopter expeditions in New Zealand, to immersive cultural experiences in local South Pacific villages.   

New Shore Excursions include:

Rewa Village Tour and Kava Ceremony
This half-day tour begins with a leisurely drive through the city of Suva by local bus, including photo opportunities of the picturesque Suva Harbour and Lathala Bay. Guests will then arrive at local village Rewa, where they will partake in a traditional Kava ceremony with the village chief and Fijian warriors.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding
The tour starts with a stunning boat ride to Aneityum, Vanuatu’s southernmost isle. Guests will explore a crystal-clear bay brimming with tropical fish on a guided 1.5 stand up paddle boarding adventure, and unwind on the beach afterwards.

Akaroa Sea Kayaking
Guests can immerse themselves in the dramatic scenery of the Akaroa Harbour on a three-hour, small group paddling adventure in a double kayak. Home to two marine reserves, guests will be on the lookout for rare seabirds, seals and the only marine animal endemic to New Zealand, Hectors Dolphins.

Radiance of the Seas to sail from Brisbane, Australia in 2020

In:
19Mar2019

Royal Caribbean will offer over 20 sailings out of Brisbane, Australia from November 2020 to destinations in the South Pacific. 

Radiance will first under go a multi-million dollar dry-dock in 2020 and then homeport from Brisbane.

Radiance of the Seas will be the largest ship to sail from the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in late-2020.

Royal Caribbean teases upcoming announcement in Australia

In:
Category: 
18Mar2019

The Royal Caribbean marketing department down under has got a lot of Aussies excited for some sort of news. 

In an email to guests, Royal Caribbean simply included an image of the aft of a ship with the words, “Big news is coming”.

The Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand Instagram account shared an indication the answer is coming “this week”.

What do you think the announcement is about? Share your guesses in the comments!

Explorer of the Seas makes maiden call to Newcastle, Australia

In:
11Feb2019

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas made its maiden call to Port of Newcastle on Sunday, February 10.

Explorer of the Seas is the third largest cruise ship based in Australia. It’s estimated the megaliner’s visit injected more than $600,000 in a single day into the Newcastle, Hunter and Port Stephens regional economies in passenger spend alone.

Royal Caribbean’s managing director Susan Bonner said that Explorer of the Seas’ call is one of four to the Port of Newcastle for the 2018/19 cruise season by Royal Caribbean International and sister brands.

“Newcastle’s vibrant city centre coupled with easy access to world class beaches, coastal countryside and rolling vineyards makes it an incredibly popular port of call amongst both our Australian and international guests. We receive consistently positive feedback from our guests about their time in Newcastle, particularly for friendliness of locals,” said Ms Bonner.

“We’re delighted to be bringing Explorer of the Seas to Newcastle twice this season, returning on Saturday 16 February. Our sister company Celebrity Cruises has called at Newcastle twice already this summer, and looking ahead to next season, we can’t wait to bring our guests here on four occasions”.

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