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Cruising to set sail in the state again


Cruising is set to return to NSW from October 2021, with Royal Caribbean International announcing two of their fleet will be based in Australia for the first time in the group’s 50-year history.

‘Ovation of the Seas’ and ‘Serenade of the Seas’ will both be based in Sydney and are expected to inject an estimated $82 million in passenger spend into the NSW economy during the 2021/22 season.

After COVID-19 forced the shutdown of one of the world’s richest tourism industries, the floating hotels are once again taking bookings.

On offer are 41 summer cruises to 33 destinations around the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia – including Eden in NSW.

Royal Caribbean managing director Gavin Smith says the return of the cruise industry was a positive sign.

“We know that many of our cruise loyalists are eager to get back to sailing and memory-making holidays,” he said.

“We look forward to the 2021/22 season when we welcome the most technologically-advanced fleet ever to sail Australia.

“We’re pleased to offer two different classes of ships to our New South Wales guests and are committed to providing the signature Royal Caribbean holiday that our Aussie guests know and love.”

‘Ovation of the Seas’ will include highlights such as a skydiving simulator, glass-viewing capsule, surf simulator and cocktails served by robots.

Itineraries range from two to 13-night cruises.

‘Serenade of the Seas’ boasts ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, a rock-climbing wall and poolside movie nights under the stars, with sailings ranging from two to 15-nights.

Food suppliers in New South Wales are also set to benefit from the return to cruising with local growers producing the $17.7 million worth of stock used onboard, including state-grown watermelon, capsicums and oranges. 

The announcement follows the recommendations set forth by the Healthy Sail Panel submitted to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

“We’re applying the best available public health, science, environmental and engineering insights and working closely with local health and government authorities,” Mr Smith said.

“Keeping the health and safety of guests, crew and the communities and environments we visit continues to be our top priority as we cement our commitment to Australia.”

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