First megaliner for Australia
AT a press conference held today at the Shanghai International Conference Center in China, senior executives from Royal Caribbean International announced that Voyager of the Seas will be based in Asia and Australia from 2012.
After sailing in China between June and October, the 138,000-tonne Voyager of the Seas will be based in Sydney for a five-month season from November 2012, becoming Australia and New Zealand’s first ‘megaliner’.
Voyager of the Seas will be the fifth Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited ship sailing in the region in 2012-13, joining Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, and sister brand Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Millennium.
There will be no mistaking Voyager of the Seas when she’s in town. Built at a cost of US$500 million and measuring 311m long, 48m wide and with 15 passenger decks, she is twice the size of most cruise ships currently based in the region. She carries up to 3,840 guests – more than the population of Australian towns like Bellingen, NSW and Port Douglas, QLD – and will showcase concepts never before seen in Australia and New Zealand waters, including an onboard ice rink.
“There are clear opportunities in the China and Australia markets, which are key areas for Royal Caribbean International’s global development,” says Adam Goldstein, CEO and President of Royal Caribbean International. “We are excited to be able to bring such an innovative ship to the region in 2012.”
According to Gavin Smith, managing director of Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia, the deployment is a testament to the strength of the Australian cruising market in particular. Speaking from Shanghai today he said, “The investment of Voyager of the Seas demonstrates our company’s tremendous belief in the future of this region and we are extremely honoured to shape the future of cruising in Australia.
“Since opening our local office in 2008 our focus has been on bringing new, innovative, class-leading ships to the market. Voyager of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever to call Australia home and once she joins our local fleet we will offer more than 60 cruise departures per year, carrying over 150,000 guests. The result is an unprecedented choice in ship styles and destinations – for both Australian and international holidaymakers alike,” says Mr Smith.
With 1,556 staterooms, Voyager of the Seas is nearly two and a half times bigger than Australia’s largest hotel . When she sails into Australia in November 2012, she will introduce several unique concepts never before experienced at sea in the region:
- “Royal Promenade” – an indoor ‘main street’ stretching the length of a football field through the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Guests can stroll up and down the four story street and enjoy regular street parades.
- “Studio B” Ice Rink – an ice skating rink for guests that also doubles as a sensational 900-seat venue for ice show productions from world-class figure skaters.
- Inside cabins with a view – traditionally Inside cabins have no view, but these unique cabins overlook the Royal Promenade.
- Unparalleled sports facilities including an Inline skating track, Royal Caribbean’s signature rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole minigolf course, a golf simulator, a full size sports court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.
There are incredible facilities for kids and teens too with a huge, action-packed Adventure Ocean Club with an Adventure Beach water park, a dedicated teens disco and a video arcade.
Guests will be spoilt for choice with the number of options for dining on Voyager of the Seas. Her 11 dining venues include specialty restaurant “Portofino” for classic Italian fine dining and the 1950s inspired American diner “Johnny Rockets”. But Voyager’s most stunning eatery is the grand three-story, 1,920-seat main dining room, which will be the largest restaurant in Australasia.
Guests can choose to relax or let their hair down at the 13 lounges, bars and clubs which include the two deck “Vault” nightclub and English pub “Pig & Whistle”. Voyager of the Seas also features an impressive 1,350-seat “Coral Theatre”, two members-only lounges, an indoor pool, a 1,400-square metre spa and fitness Centre, beauty salon, boutiques, art gallery and the beautiful “Skylight Chapel” – a unique wedding chapel at sea.