John Pond Travel Camera Spectator Group 2 Oct 2015
Carnival Australia Record Summer Cruise Season
The country’s largest cruise operator Carnival Australia has launched Australia’s biggest ever summer cruise season, with the Sydney arrival of Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess today.
Over the coming months, Carnival Australia will have an unprecedented 22 ships from its seven cruise lines sailing in local waters, including more than 170 calls to Australia’s cruising gateway, Sydney. Speaking at Circular Quay this week, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the ships represented nearly a quarter of Carnival Corporation’s worldwide fleet.
Between them, the 22 ships will carry more than 530,000 cruisers – more than the population of Tasmania – over the summer period. In total the ships will make 538 turnaround and transit calls to Australian ports from today through to the end of April 2016 – 21 per cent more than in 2014-15 – adding significantly to the industry’s estimated $4 billion economic contribution.
“In 2005-2006, we heralded a bumper cruise season with 10 ships from across our fleets sailing locally and making 141 calls to Australian ports. A decade on the number of ships has more than doubled and the number of local calls has more than tripled.”
The 22 ships sailing in Australian waters represents a 10 per cent increase on last year’s summer season and includes P&O Cruises’ latest ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, which will join the cruise line’s existing three ships in November; six Princess Cruises’ ships, including Golden Princess on its maiden Australian deployment, and two Carnival Cruise Line ships.
Meanwhile, three Holland America Line ships will sail here over summer including Noordam on its maiden visit, along with world voyage visits by all three Cunard Queens, two ships from P&O Cruises World Cruising and one Seabourn vessel.
Ms Sherry said one of the standout features of cruise season was the vast quantities of Australian primary produce that Carnival Australia’s brands purchase including around 1.5 million kilograms of beef annually. “The huge quantities we purchase in a typical year making the local agriculture sector one of the big winners from cruising,” Ms Sherry said.
Celebrity Solstice Here Soon In just a few weeks time “Australia’s Best Cruise Ship 2015”, Celebrity Solstice, will sail into Sydney Harbour to start her summer season. She brings with her a modern, premium luxury cruise experience, Australia’s only Lawn Club at sea and cuisine, design and service that will add a little something extra to your cruise holiday.
Celebrity Airs Rugby World Cup Rugby Union fans rejoice! Celebrity Cruises has announced it will air the next six weeks of the Rugby World Cup across its fleet worldwide, so fans won’t miss a second of all the action live from England. As teams battle it out for the William Webb Ellis Cup, Australian passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy the highly anticipated preliminary finals, semi-finals and grand final onboard Celebrity Solstice, famous for her half-acre of lawn, as she makes her way to Australia from Honolulu and kicks off her local cruise season on October 21, 2015.
Scenic Launches River Brochure Scenic has launched its first South East Asia River Cruising brochure which features its full collection of Mekong and Irrawaddy river cruises including a number of new Enrich experiences and Freechoice activities, three new extensions in Vietnam plus a new tour for 2017.
The 2016/2017 program signals the inaugural sailing season for Scenic Spirit which will launch on the Mekong in January 2016 – travelling over eight days between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Siem Reap, and Scenic Aura; launching in September 2016 on the Irrawaddy and travelling over 11 days between the cities of Mandalay and Pyay.
Both ships provide a boutique and intimate environment with all balcony suites – 34 suites on Scenic Spirit and 22 suites on Scenic Aura. All suites feature separate bedroom, living room and balcony and range in size from Scenic Aura’s 24sqm Balcony Suite complete with Scenic Sun Lounge up to Scenic Spirit’s impressive 80sqm Royal Panorama Suite which is the largest suite on the Mekong. Scenic Spirit and Scenic Aura also boast a choice of dining venues from a la carte to casual dining, a resort style pool deck and bar area, spacious bar and lounge, Sun Deck with open air cinema, complimentary beverages, butler service for all guests plus a guest laundry. With an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio, these ships bring an unprecedented level of luxury to the region. The program sees the launch of a number of new Freechoice activities including a Red Bridge cooking class in Hoi An; a cycle journey around Hanoi’s West Lake; art tour of Saigon; and tour of Dong Ha Hiep Island by sampan. In 2017, guests can also enjoy new Enrich events in Siem Reap including themed gala dinner and Apsara dance performance, and a tethered balloon ride over Angor Wat at sunrise.
P&O New Restaurants P&O Cruises has unveiled the menus for its two new restaurants, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady, which will add an international flavour to its latest ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, when they join the cruise line’s fleet in November.
With their Italian and pan-Asian offerings, the two new dining options will bring a relaxed sophistication to the contemporary cuisine served onboard the ships, which have been heralded as game changers for the local cruise industry.
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PHOTOS: Ann Sherry Carnival CEO, Diamond Princess, Celebrity Solstice, Scenic Aura Suite, P&O New Restaurants
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