Watch out Sydney, the two biggest and most feature-packed cruise ships sailing in the southern hemisphere – Explorer of the Seas and twin sister Voyager of the Seas – will meet in a historic Sydney Harbour rendezvous at 6:30pm on Saturday 28th November 2015.
This date marks two major milestones for Royal Caribbean. Firstly, the maiden call of the newest and largest Australian cruise ship, Explorer of the Seasin Sydney, marking her long-awaited arrival at her new home port. Secondly, the very first time that the region’s two largest ships have crossed paths in Australia.
Explorer of the Seas will be welcomed into Sydney Harbour by Aussie favourite Voyager of the Seas. Onboard the two ships will be over 10,000 passengers and crew – outnumbering the populations of NSW towns like Parkes and Byron Bay – and injecting almost $1.6 million into the Sydney economy in passenger spend on this one day alone.
For the historic meeting, guests onboard will celebrate, party and even surf on Sydney Harbour: the top decks of both ships feature brand new FlowRider surf simulators.
“We live for big ships and the huge variety of experiences that our megaliners offer our guests. We couldn’t be more proud to welcome Australia’s biggest cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, to her new home – and for our two magnificent megaliners to meet in beautiful Sydney harbour,” said commercial director for Royal Caribbean International, Adam Armstrong.
“Over the last decade we have been committed to bringing the biggest and best cruise ships to our doorstep – and this day will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our history. With a combined build price of US$1.3 billion and a further US$130 million injected into bow-to-stern makeovers in the last 12 months, they represent the biggest investment ever made by a cruise line in Australia.”
“Explorer of the Seas offers incredible onboard features you won’t find on other cruise ships; like the FlowRider surf machine, an ice-skating rink, a 3D cinema and a rock climbing wall – all complimentary – plus an indoor street lined with cafés, bars and shops. Not to mention world-class dining and exceptional service to boot,” Adam said.
At 138,194 tons, 311 metres long and 38 metres wide, Explorer of the Seas steals the crown of Australia’s Biggest Cruise Ship from twin sister Voyager of the Seas. Both megaliners are between two to three times larger than conventional cruise ships currently based in Australia and at full capacity can carry almost 5,200 passengers and crew.
Explorer of the Seas is one of an unprecedented four RCI ships sailing in Australia this summer, with brand capacity increasing by 45 per cent. During her five month season Explorer of the Seas will operate 17 cruises and is expected to inject around $45 million into the Australian economy – including more than $41 million in Sydney in passenger spend alone.
Explorer of the Seas’ recent US$80 million makeover added three new specialty dining restaurants: fresh sushi at IzumiJapanese Cuisine, Royal Caribbean’s signature Chops Grille steakhouse and family-style Italian trattoria Giovanni’s Table. Two new bars have also been added – the sophisticated and retro-chic R Bar and the upscale sports bar, The Tavern.
All staterooms and suites have been updated with new furnishings, carpets and technology as well as two new stateroom categories – new “Virtual Balcony” cabins that offer a floor-to-ceiling screen which projects real time views of the ship’s actual surroundings, as you would see from a balcony; plus new Panoramic staterooms with floor-to-ceiling wrap around windows.
The latest technology can also be found onboard, including ship-wide WiFi, Digital Wayfinders to help guests find their way around the ship and what’s happening onboard, plus each stateroom is now fitted with flat panel TVs.
Explorer of the Seas will meet Voyager of the Seas in Sydney Harbour at approximately 6.30pm on Saturday 28 November 2015 near Fort Denison. To witness this historic event, Royal Caribbean recommends the below vantage points.
|Timeline (all times approximate)|
|Sat 28 November||6:30am||Voyager of the Seas docks in Sydney at the Overseas Passenger Terminal|
|6:00pm||Voyager of the Seas sets sail from Overseas Passenger Terminal|
|6:30pm||Explorer of the Seas meets Voyager of the Seas in the middle of Sydney Harbour, close to Fort Denison|
|7:30pm||Explorer of the Seas docks at Overseas Passenger Terminal and remains overnight|
|Sun 29 November||7:00pm||Explorer of the Seas sets sail from Overseas Passenger Terminal|
|Bradley’s Head||Bradley’s Head, on Sydney’s North Shore, allows views of the major Sydney icons including Fort Denison and its surroundings, where the historic rendezvous will take place.|
|Cremorne Reserve||Cremorne Reserve on Cremorne Point offers spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. The outlook includes both Circular Quay and Fort Denison, which will give you excellent views of the evening’s event.|
|Circular Quay||On a Saturday evening, Circular Quay is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of the day and watch the arrival and departure of the ships.|
|Royal Botanic Gardens||The Royal Botanic Gardens, located near Circular Quay, allows panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. Go for a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for the best views of this historic event. The Royal Botanic Gardens are open from 7am – 8pm, seven days a week.|
|Milson’s Point / Kirribilli||Luna Park, and North Sydney Swimming Pool, down near the ferry wharf at Kirribilli are great areas where you can view the ships arriving and docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.|
For further information or to follow Explorer of the Seas’ maiden Australian voyage, visit http://www.exploreroftheseas.com.au/harbour-rendezvous/.
To make a booking visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.