From Active Adventures and Culinary Delights to Culture & Sights and Caring Discoveries, Royal Caribbean has unveiled 18 new shore excursions for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, many of which are only available on Royal.
“We often talk about a Royal Caribbean megaliner being a destination in itself, but the places we sail to truly bring our style of holiday to life,” said Adam Armstrong, regional commercial director, Royal Caribbean.
“Whether you’re looking for action and adventure, history and culture, or a taste of the local flavours in this diverse part of the world, Royal Caribbean shore excursions ensure you make the most of your days onshore,” he continued.
“Our new and improved offering means there’s something for everyone; whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first timer, we’ll take you off the beaten track and show you a new side to a range of Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific destinations,” said Adam.
Brand new Royal Caribbean shore excursion experiences include:
Airlie Beach: ‘Gone Fishing’
Join an expert skipper for small-group reef and bottom fishing adventure around the Whitsunday Islands. Catering to all levels of experience, guests can test their fishing skills in the sparkling blue waters sheltered by the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, rich with reef fish like coral trout and red emperor.
Cairns: ‘Tropical Jet Boating’
A jet boat captained by a Cairns local takes guests for a wet-and-wild ride on the Cairns waterfront and into the Trinity Inlet. The captain will take the time to let passengers know all about the beautiful location – with lush green mountains, rich wildlife and beautiful waterways only accessible by boat – plus demonstrate some of the tricks and maneuvers the jet boat can do. In the tropics, this ride is a great way to escape the humidity, get ready for lots of spray and water!
Hobart: ‘Mt Wellington Descent by Bike’
Experience an exhilarating guided mountain bike ride down the 4,000-foot Mt. Wellington. The tour will take guests to the top of the mountain for panoramic views to the city of Hobart, followed by a gentle, scenic bicycle tour through the magnificent alpine forest and terrain.
Port Hedland ‘FIFO Mining Experience’
For anyone who’s ever wondered what FIFO (fly-in fly-out) working life is really like. Port Hedland is the center of the iron-ore industry in Western Australia. Here, thousands of workers fly to mines to work for a number days at a stretch. The tour visits Gateway Village, where guests will don their high-vis gear and hardhat and take part in a prestart meeting (a pre-shift, crew-wide safety meeting) as well as tour the facility. Head to the crib room for refreshments, plus see where miners spend their time after their shifts at the worker accommodations. The tour also includes a stop at Redbank Bridge, which passes over some of the world’s longest trains, carrying iron ore and solar salt from Port Hedland to the rest of the country.
Port Hedland ‘Historical Town Tour’
Peel back the layers of history of Port Hedland with this tour that takes in the historic West End, where large-scale street art meets a colorful market teeming with arts, craft and foot, as well as Koombana Lookout, where the huge bulk carriers move in and out of the harbour as they have for more than a century. Then take a look at the mining equipment and rolling stock used in years past, and see how much the industry has changed at the Don Rhodes Open-Air Mining Museum. Plus, trace the pioneering heritage of Port Hedland on an exclusive tour of the Dalgety House Museum with members of the local historical society. Built in 1903, the house is one of the few examples left of early 20th-century architecture.
Port Hedland ‘Pretty Pool Discovery with Tea’
Explore Port Hedland’s famous Pretty Pool, a coastal area with an incredibly important ecosystem. Guests will learn about how mangroves help support the flatback turtles, who make this beach their home each year. These turtles rely on the protection the mangroves give to the nests they’ve dug in the sand. Afterward, head to local restaurant, Pretty Pool Provedore for tea, coffee and an array of scrumptious treats.
Suva ‘Kila Eco Trek’ (FIJI)
Immerse yourself in Fiji’s pristine rainforest at Kila Eco Adventure Park. The tour departs the Port of Suva, the capital’s large maritime gateway. Suva, which is situated on a hilly peninsula, is the most cosmopolitan city in the South Pacific. Your tour leaves the bustling urban center and proceeds along a scenic route to Kila Eco Adventure Park. You’ll explore the Park’s beautiful scenery on your eco-walk, which includes views of the expansive valley and mountainous terrain. Walk through jungle paths, past flowing waterfalls, and the colorful flora and Fiji’s only linear botanic garden as you roam the virgin lowland tropical rainforest. The walk takes guests past several varieties of flowering trees and plants like coconut, giant baka, mango and palm.
Auckland ‘Tamaki Hikoi Maori Volcanic Walking Tour
Join members of the Ngati Whatua tribe on a guided walk of their lands, exploring the heart of Auckland at Mt. Eden, a dormant volcano. For hundreds of years, Maori of this local tribe have passed down through generations their tribal history and traditions. On this tour, take advantage of their knowledge and wisdom as you make your way to Mt. Eden, once the site of the largest fortified Maori pa (fortress) in New Zealand.
Take in the natural and cultural history of the volcano while overlooking spectacular views across of the city below. Learn about Maori culture and heritage, finding out why Auckland was so fiercely contested, how the tribe co-existed with the land, and the impact of colonization on its indigenous people. After your walk, enjoy coffee, tea and delicious scones.
Bay of Islands: Glow Worm Caves and Kauri Forest
Enjoy the serenity of the Puketi Kauri Forest and explore caverns lit by twinkling glowworms. Get up close to the ancient and majestic Kauri trees during an educational guided walking tour of Puketi Kauri’s sub-tropical rainforest, rich in native flora and fauna. Next, be surrounded by luminous glow worms in the natural underground wonderland of the Kawiti Caves, and take in its unique stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Tauranga: ‘Coastal Cuisine Tour’
Get ready for the ultimate dining experience in the stunning colonial coastal town of Tauranga and its scenic surrounding region. This ‘foodies tour’ introduces you to the unique and delicious bounty of the Bay of Plenty. The rich soils and gentle climate have produced ideal growing conditions for both the Maori and European gardeners. Citrus fruit, avocados, wines and more have been cultivated in this region, which makes for a delicious coastal cuisine tour. You’ll travel to lush farmlands, beaches, and into Tauranga to try a wonderful assortment of foods. Sample specialty breads made from wheat, wholemeal and rye at the Artisan Bakery. Try different types of salami made by natural curing and wood smoking. Experience a wide range of fresh seafood and fish dipped in a crisp batter at the Fish Market. Enjoy the delicious, top quality Manuka honey products. Then, tour a kiwi orchard when you climb aboard the KiwiKart. While here, you’ll learn why the kiwifruit is among the most healthiest fruits in the world, and how this unique fertile land, climate, and geography make it an ideal location for growing the kiwifruit compared to other places in the world.
Wellington: ‘Craft Brewery Tour’
Beer lovers can go on a tasting tour of Wellington’s finest craft brews. An array of breweries in the heart of the city are an integral part of the capital’s vibrant cultural scene. This tour visits four different locations so you can sample an amazing assortment of quality of beers. Your guide explains the workings of the breweries and describes different beers produced. Find out how malts, hops and some other New Zealand grown ingredients formulate these traditional, high-quality beverages. You’ll get to learn what innovations are used to derive some of the country’s most delicious beers. Watch as the frothy beverage is poured, savor the aroma, and quench your thirst with a delightful sip or a great big gulp. Discover new flavors as enthusiastic brewers share some of their new recipes. Introduce your taste buds to a spectrum of award-winning, bold, seasonal, and crisp beers. Enjoy the chance to sample limited runs. Fill your flagon or take a bottle home.
This summer season has seen an unprecedented four Royal Caribbean ships sailing Australian waters. The upcoming 2016/17 summer season will see almost a quarter of a million Australians sailing on five Royal Caribbean ships locally, including onboard the showstopping Ovation of the Seas – Australia’s very first new-build. Ovation of the Seas will join Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas sailing out of Sydney, while Legend of the Seas will return for her second season sailing from Brisbane.