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Royal Caribbean International to base its first ship in Brisbane

May 8, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

The world’s largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean International will base Legend of the Seas in Brisbane for the 2015/16 summer cruise season. Brisbane becomes the brand’s second Australian home port and takes the brand’s Australian fleet to an unprecedented four ships.

The addition of Legend of the Seas, along with the recent announcement that Explorer of the Seas will replace Rhapsody of the Seas represents a total capacity increase of 47 per cent.

The 2,000-guest Legend of Seas has been selected to homeport in Brisbane to meet the growing demand from Australian and international guests wishing to experience world class cruising to Queensland and the South Pacific. As a global cruise brand, international guests are expected to drive an increase in inbound tourism by travelling to Brisbane to experienceLegend of the Seas with an estimated economic impact in the region of $25-30 GetawaysbyDusit_Banner250x250million.

Legend of the Seas will also make ten calls at the combined Queensland ports of Cairns and Airlie Beach. Additionally Royal Caribbean’s other local ships, Radiance of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, will make 27 port calls in Queensland during the local 2015/16 season at Cairns, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Willis Island and Port Douglas. As an industry average, each passenger is estimated to spend approximately $100 per person in a port of call when visiting during their cruise holiday.

Legend of the Seas arrives in Brisbane in December 2015 for a five-month season.  At 70,000 tons she is one of the largest superliners able to navigate the Brisbane River and dock at Brisbane Cruise Terminal at Portside Wharf.  She offers guests a world class cruising experience from the cruise line responsible for the world’s largest megaliners Oasis of the Seas andAllure of the Seas and the much anticipated Quantum of the Seas.

Following an extensive $50 million revitalisation in 2013, the ship boasts new “Wow” facilities that guests will not find onboard any other cruise ship sailing from Brisbane: a central Atrium with an acrobatic aerial show, a rock climbing wall, a mini golf course, an indoor swimming pool, a babies nursery and multiple speciality dining venues including a Sushi restaurant and a 12-seat private dining room. She also features a stunning two-deck grand dining room, an 800-seat theatre, the Vitality Spa & Fitness centre, a beauty salon a shopping arcade.

Gavin Smith, Regional Vice-President Asia Pacific said, “We are thrilled to announce our first program of cruises from Brisbane. Legend of the Seas will provide a new choice in local cruising – and is the logical next stage in Royal Caribbean’s growth in Australia. This move comes off the back of strong demand from both the local and international guests and represents another major investment by Royal Caribbean in the Australian cruise market.”

This is the second major announcement made by the company in Australia in a month, following the news that the 3,800-guest megaliner Explorer of the Seas will be based in Sydney from November 2015.  “Our Sydney and now Brisbane vessels represent the largest investment made by a cruise line in Australia and demonstrate our absolute commitment to the local cruise market,” said Gavin Smith.

Royal Caribbean’s biggest ever Australian fleet will comprise four ships in summer 2015/16: Legend of the Seas in Brisbane and Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney.  All four ships boast the benefits of the “Royal Advantage” fleet revitalisation program, which involves bow-to-stern renovations and the addition of many new amenities at a total cost of almost $250 million.  Together they will offer a range of over 70 itineraries featuring popular Australian, South Pacific and New Zealand ports.

Legend of the Seas is currently sailing in Europe and the Caribbean.  Many Australians and New Zealanders will already be familiar with the ship during her recent Asia programs from 2008 to 2013 – and she will return to Asia once more from June to November 2015, offering a series of cruises from Singapore and Hong Kong.  As a prelude to her Brisbane season,Legend of the Seas will also briefly visit east coast Australia in June as she makes her way across the Pacific Ocean from California to Asia.

The Brisbane program will go on sale in mid-May and guests will be able to choose from an array of 17 attractive itineraries ranging from two to 14 nights to the South Pacific islands, Queensland and New Zealand – plus exotic repositioning cruises between Hong Kong and Brisbane.

This announcement is the latest in a number of exciting key changes to Royal Caribbean’s future deployment.  In the last two months the brand has announced its return to Dubai from late 2015; that new ship Anthem of the Seas will be based in the UK when she is launched in April 2015; the world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, will sail her maiden season in the Mediterranean in 2015; and brand new ship Quantum of the Seas will be based in China next year.

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