Rhapsody of the Seas kicked off the 2013-14 cruise season in style
The first international cruise ship arrived at Sydney Harbour earlier this month, kicking off the 2013-14 international cruise season in style; she stood amid the war ships and tall ships during the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review, which was also taking place in the harbour.
The arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas marked the start of ‘wave season’, Australia’s peak time of year for cruise deals and bookings. The 78,000 tonne superliner arrived at Sydney Harbour carrying 2,100 passengers on October 5th. She was the biggest on the harbour that day.
Rhapsody has now begun sailing her seventh consecutive season down under. And what a season it will be! The 2013-14 period is set to be the busiest for the country: during the six month timeframe, more than 40 ships will make 600 calls to Australian ports – and many for the first time.
Royal Caribbean alone are set to welcome over 210,000 guests this season, which is an increase of 10 percent on last year’s figures.
Speaking of the Australian 2013-14 cruise season, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia commercial director Adam Armstrong said:
“Since Rhapsody’s first arrival in 2007, our Australian fleet has grown significantly and there are now five ships from two of our cruise brands sailing here this season. In fact, with more cruises and carrying more guests than any other cruise line, Royal Caribbean International is Sydney’s largest cruise line this summer. “This is will be our largest Australian season to date, with ships staying longer for the Australian summer. We will welcome over 210,000 guests in total over the wave season, which is 10 per cent more than last year.”
Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas will follow sister ship over to Australia, arriving in the country on the 11th of October. In total, five ships from Royal Caribbean and sister line Celebrity Cruises will sail in Australian waters this season.
Also during this season, there will be a total of 15 first-time port visits made in Australia. Among them will be:
- Seabourn Sojourn – who will make calls at Eden, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Burnie, Bunbury, Geraldton and Exmouth, and
- APT MS Caledonian Sky – this ship will make maiden visits to the ports of Darwin, Port Essington, Wessell Islands, Macquarie Island and Norfolk Island.
This season, Western Australia will also welcome its only local based ship, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Astor. The ship is scheduled to reach Fremantle and 11 December for a series of cruises in both Australia and Asia.