Royal Caribbean International has announced it will homeport two ships in Sydney from October 2011: Rhapsody of the Seas, currently in its third Australian summer season, will be joined by Radiance of the Seas offering cruises in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific from October to April.
The announcement comes just 14 months after the Miami-headquartered company opened its Sydney office.
Gavin Smith, managing director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia said, “The move is a demonstration of the strength of the local cruise market, and is in response to demand from American, European and Asian visitors to experience Australia onboard our cruise ships. The move will double the number of tourists the company brings to Australia each year to more than 30,000.”
“We’re supported by the exceptional efforts of our international sales and marketing teams, particularly in North America, UK, Europe and Asia, who help to generate demand for cruises Down Under. Our cruise-tour team does a great job in working with local tourism operators to provide a wide range of uniquely Australasian experiences for all our guests.”
“We’ve also seen a marked increase in demand from Australians for the Royal Caribbean International brand over the past year and this is something we are keen to build upon. The announcement represents a multi-million dollar investment in Australia, and Sydney is an excellent base port for our operations Down Under.”
Radiance of the Seas will be the newest, largest and most modern ship to be home ported in Sydney. At 293 metres in length Radiance of the Seas offers a wide range of onboard features including a half basketball court, mini golf, cinema, kids’ swimming area with waterslide and five restaurants including two signature fine dining experiences – Portofino Italian and Chops Grille Steakhouse.
Carrying 2,100 passengers, an impressive 55 per cent of guest cabins have a balcony. The ship also offers a rock climbing wall, an adults-only solarium, spa and fitness centre, children’s Adventure Ocean club, Casino Royale and a Broadway style theatre.
Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas is currently sailing in Australasian waters and will depart for Alaska at the end of the season on 12 April, returning in October this year for summer 2010-11.
Itineraries will be announced in late March 2010 when bookings are opened to the public.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk or call 0844 493 2061. Travel professionals should go to www.cruisingpower.co.uk.