Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises honoured at NTIA
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have been honoured at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards in Sydney on Saturday evening. The largest operator in Sydney, Royal Caribbean International, was awarded Best Cruise Operator – International, while the highest-rated cruise brand in Australia*, Celebrity Cruises, won Best Cruise Ship – Domestic with Celebrity Solstice.
Royal Caribbean was also a finalist in the Best Cruise Ship – Domestic category, with two ships nominated,Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, meanwhile Celebrity Cruises received a finalist nod for the Best Cruise Operator – International category.
“Our travel agent partners play a huge role in the success of our cruise brands sailing in Australia,” said Sean Treacy, commercial director, RCL Cruises, Australia & South East Asia. “It is a great honour that the high quality of cruise offering from Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International has been recognised and we are truly grateful to the industry for their ongoing support.”
The upcoming 2015/16 season will see RCL Cruises’ local capacity increase by almost 50 percent with a total of six ships based in the region. Royal Caribbean International will base its first ever ship in Brisbane,Legend of the Seas, while also adding new Voyager Class Explorer of the Seas to Sydney with Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. Boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises will deploy its first ship to local waters, Azamara Quest, while Celebrity Solstice, Australia’s highest rated cruise ship* will sail her fourth local season.
RCL’s international cruise season will kick off with the arrival of Radiance of the Seas on Friday 9th October, followed by Celebrity Solstice on Wednesday 21st October. Voyager of the Seas will arrive back home on Thursday 5th November, before new ship Explorer of the Seas arrives in Perth on Friday 13th November to kick off her maiden Australian season. Explorer of the Seas arrives to her home port of Sydney for the first time on Saturday 28th November where she will historically rendezvous with her identical sister shipVoyager of the Seas in Sydney Harbour. Brisbane will welcome Legend of the Seas to her new home on Tuesday 8th December. Azamara Quest’s maiden Australian port of call will be Darwin on Monday 28thDecember, before she arrives in Cairns on Monday 4th January 2016 for her first local cruise.
Royal Caribbean International also recently announced Australia will welcome the first ever brand new cruise ship when it deploys the $1.3 billion Ovation of the Seas to Sydney for the peak summer season from December 2016. Currently under construction in Germany, the Quantum Class megaliner will not only claim the title of the largest cruise ship to ever call Australia home – carrying almost 5,000 guests and 1,500 crew – but also the most technologically advanced. Ovation of the Seas redefines cruising in Australia, offering a host of incredible features and technologies, from an iFly sky diving experience, 18 distinct and different dining options – including Jamie Oliver’s first at sea – a robotic bar, more internet bandwidth than all other cruise ships combined, bumper cars and the North Star – a glass viewing capsule which transports guests more than 91 metres above the ship for breathtaking 360 degree views.