As one of the fastest growing segments of Australian and New Zealand tourism, there’s always plenty of activity in the local cruise industry.
Latest cruise industry figures released in May 2017 showed that the number of Australians who took a cruise in 2016 reached an unprecedented 1,281,159 million, an increase of 26 per cent which delivered the industry’s 12th consecutive year of double digit growth.
Across the Tasman, a record 90,184 New Zealanders took a cruise holiday in 2016.
As demand for cruising continues to expand, every year brings more exciting moments. In 2017, we have seen the debut of P&O Cruises’ latest ship Pacific Explorer and the maiden visit Down Under of Seabourn’s new Seabourn Encore. In February, Sydney celebrated the Royal Rendezvous of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, almost 10 years to the day after Queen Mary 2 made her first visit to Sydney.
And there’s more to come. February 2018 will see Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend head south to Melbourne for her first ever season of cruises from the Victorian capital, while in September 2018, Princess Cruises’ new flagship, the spectacular 147,000-tonne Majestic Princess, will arrive in Sydney, claiming the mantle of the largest Princess ship ever to sail to Australia as she commences a six-month season of local cruising.
2018 will also see the debut of Carnival Corporation’s new Ocean Medallion technology in Australia, with Golden Princess the first ship sailing Down Under to offer the new feature which will create a level of service and personalisation never before considered possible.
Meanwhile, Seabourn will welcome its latest ship, Seabourn Ovation, in early 2018, while in March, Carnival Cruise Line will take delivery of Carnival Horizon, with new onboard features including the cruise line’s first Dr Seuss WaterWorks. December 2018 will see the debut of Holland America’s next ship ms Nieuw Statendam.
Further ahead, in 2019 Princess Cruises will welcome its fourth Royal Class ship to its fleet, to be followed by a fifth in 2020.
2020 will also see P&O Cruises welcome Golden Princess to its fleet, becoming the first of the cruise line’s ships to feature the Ocean Medallion.
In the same year, Carnival Cruise Line will increase its local operation to have two ships sailing full-time in Australian waters while. Majestic Princess will be joined by the 3600-guest Ruby Princess in Australian waters.