Royal Caribbean’s 311 metre long, 138,000-ton megaliner, Voyager of the Seas, made history in Vanuatu when she became the largest ship to dock alongside at Port Vila last Sunday. The historic call was made possible following extensive upgrades to the pier by the cruise line, which now allows the islands of Vanuatu to cater to the new breed of megaliners sailing in South Pacific waters.
The maiden call alongside in Port Vila was celebrated with an official ceremony onboard, attended by the Tourism Minister of Vanuatu, together with a performance from the Vanuatu Military Band on the pier.
As well as upgrades to the pier in Port Vila, Royal Caribbean’s investment in Vanuatu includes construction of a new tender pier in Mystery Island, due to open in January. This investment ashore is further supported by investment onboard with the addition of tender boats to its two locally based Voyager Class ships, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, the largest cruise ships based in the southern hemisphere.
Captain with the Honorable Minister of Trade, Tourism and Ni Vanuatu Business
“For many decades, ports in Vanuatu have only been able to accommodate mid-sized vessels – so this is a very significant milestone in the history of South Pacific island cruising,” said Adam Armstrong, Commercial Director for Royal Caribbean.
“In total we have invested over US$20 million to allow “Voyager Class” cruising in Vanuatu for the very first time, which enables the region to capitalise on its tourism attractions as the local cruise industry grows,” he continued.
“Until now, the largest ship able to dock at Port Vila was Royal Caribbean’s own Radiance of the Seas, at 90,090 tonnes, 293 metres long – some 50% smaller than Voyager Class vessels,” Adam concluded.
By upgrading infrastructure to support larger Voyager Class ships, Royal Caribbean will bring over 20,000 incremental tourists to Vanuatu this summer cruise season, delivering an estimated $3.5 million in increased passenger spend ashore. The Summer 2016/17 season will see an even steeper growth with an additional 50,000 guests and $7.7m in passenger spend.
Vanuatu Military Band
Explorer of the Seas and twin sister Voyager of the Seas are Australia’s two largest locally-based cruise ships. Both megaliners are between two to three times larger than conventional cruise ships currently cruising to Vanuatu and, at full capacity, can carry almost 5,200 passengers and crew.
Together, they form two of an unprecedented four Royal Caribbean International ships sailing in Australia this summer, with brand capacity increasing by over 45 per cent. Both ships have received recent USD$80 million makeovers which added a FlowRider surfing simulator, three new specialty dining restaurants, two new bars, a refresh of all staterooms and suites, new “Virtual Balcony” cabins, 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 arrive in Sydney Harbour for the first time on Saturday 28 November, where she will rendezvous with Voyager of the Seas at approximately 6.30pm near Fort Denison.
To make a booking visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.