Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands have become some of the most sought after cruise destinations in the world. 2016 looks set to become another watershed year, with passenger numbers increasing annually. Sydney, often referred to as the Harbour City, is an idyllic location to embark on cruises to exotic locations, and is the home port of several Royal Caribbean vessels during the Australian sailing season.
Royal Caribbean International departures from Sydney include everything from three day introductory cruises to several weeks at sea visiting the best South Pacific destinations and beyond. Sydney is a sought out destination itself for visitors from interstate or overseas, and it’s well worth factoring in a couple of extra days to explore this modern and vibrant city. Ships depart from the Overseas Passenger Terminal located in the historic Rocks district, with the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge nearby. The CBD is within easy walking distance, and magnificent beaches and amazing scenery conveniently accessed by public transport.
2016 Royal Caribbean Itineraries departing Sydney
The southern hemisphere summer provides an escape from the winter blues for Europeans and North Americans. Australia is a huge country where climate varies from the northern tropics to snow capped peaks of the south. Sydney’s temperate climate is comfortable all-year-round, but cruising is most popular in the warm summer months between November and May. Here are just a few Royal Caribbean offerings for 2016.
3 nights on Explorer of the Seas
Sailing dates: 8 December
4 nights on Explorer of the Seas
Sailing date: 17 March
Ports: Sydney; Hobart (Tasmania)
6 nights on Radiance of the Seas
Sailing date: 26 March
Ports: Sydney; Melbourne; Hobart
7 nights on Voyager of the Seas
Sailing dates: 27 February; 1 November
Ports: Sydney; Isle of Pines (New Caledonia); Noumea
8 nights on Explorer of the Seas
Sailing date: 2 November
Ports: Sydney; Lifou (New Caledonia); Mystery Island (Vanuatu), Noumea
9 nights on Explorer of the Seas
Sailing date: 21 March
Ports: Sydney; Isle of Pines (New Caledonia); Noumea; Mystery Island (Vanuatu)
10 nights on Ovation of the Seas
Sailing date: 30 December
Ports: Sydney; Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Milford Sound (New Zealand); Dunedin, Wellington, Napier, Picton (New Zealand)
11 nights on Explorer of the Seas
Sailing date: 11 December
Ports: Sydney; Suva, Lautoka (Fiji); Lifou (New Caledonia); Noumea
12 nights on Voyager of the Seas
Sailing dates: 13 March; 4 April
Ports: Sydney; Noumea, Mystery Island; Lautoka, Suva (Fiji); Fiji Islands; Isle Of Pines
13 nights on Radiance of the Seas
Sailing date: 3 December
Ports: Sydney; Isle Of Pines; Lifou; Suva; Fiji Islands; Lautoka; Vavau, Nuku Alofa (Tonga); Auckland
14 nights on Voyager of the Seas
Sailing date: 16 April
Ports: Sydney; Brisbane; Darwin; Port Klang (Malaysia); Singapore
15 nights on Ovation of the Seas
Sailing date: 15 December
Ports: Sydney; Hobart; Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Milford Sound; Dunedin; Wellington; Picton; Tauranga; Auckland
16 nights on Radiance of the Seas
Sailing date: 31 October
Ports: Sydney; Brisbane; Cairns; Darwin; Benoa (Bali); Port Hedland; Geraldton; Perth
18 nights on Radiance of the Seas
Sailing date: 3 April
Ports: Sydney; Picton; Wellington; Papeete (Tahiti); Moorea; Bora Bora; Honolulu (Hawaii)
There are many more Royal Caribbean cruise departures from Sydney during 2016, with great deals and special offers available year-round.
The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Explorer of the Seas
This modern cruise ship was one of the first to embrace the floating resort cruise trend, boasting an abundance of amenities and entertainment venues. Highlights include an ice skating rink, inline skating, rock climbing wall, full court basketball and a concert venue. Explorer of the Seas is a multi-generational experience that hosts a spa complex, entertainment boulevard, great dining options and even a wedding chapel. The vessel is medium-size by today’s cruise ship standards, providing the opportunity to mingle, make new friends, or rewind and relax.
- Passengers: 3,114
- Crew: 1,185
- Decks: 14
Radiance of the Seas
In 2011, Royal Caribbean invested $20 million for upgrades to retain state-of-the-art onboard ambiance. Improvements include eight new dining venue options, cabin upgrades, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi and a huge poolside movie screen. Additional new features such as a toddlers nursery and touch screen ‘wayfinders’ add a touch of class to the warm vessel design. Half of the Radiance of the Seas exterior is glass, with floor-to-ceiling windows around every corner, creating a real indoor/outdoor feel. An additional unique touch are the outside elevators spanning twelve decks and providing majestic views.
- Passengers: 2,112
- Crew: 894
- Decks: 12
Voyager of the Seas
This is a vessel that changed the nature of cruising forever. It heralded the introduction of first-time features such as the ice skating rink, TV studio and concert arena and the magnificent Royal Promenade. Voyager of the Seas is a floating resort and pleasure palace designed to satisfy the requirements of every passenger. An $80 million refit in 2014 further established Voyager’s identity as a modern cruise experience. Additions include the FlowRider surfing simulator, ‘virtual balconies’ for inside cabins and a range of new dining options. Voyager of the Seas continues to tick all the cruise expectation boxes.
- Passengers: 3,114
- Crew: 1,176
- Decks: 15
Ovation of the Seas
The arrival of the brand new Ovation of the Seas in Sydney during 2016 is a sure sign that Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific are must-see cruise destinations. Currently under construction at the famous Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, Ovation is scheduled to launch in April 2016. Royal Caribbean innovations on Ovation include the North Star glass capsule that transports passengers 100 meters above and beyond the top deck for magnificent views. The skydiving simulator and RipCord iFly are also guaranteed to give thrill-seekers a brand new experience. Other attractions onboard Ovation of the Seas include a circus school with flying trapeze classes, bumper cars, video games and roller skating. Traditional amenities such as opulent cabins, fine dining and pampering services are also first class.
- Passengers: 4,180
- Crew: N/A
- Decks: 16
Australian holiday seasons
Unlike the northern hemisphere, Australia’s major summer holiday season encompasses Christmas and the New Year. It’s a time for families to spend time together enjoying all the best of the outdoor Australian lifestyle. The summer school holidays run from mid-December until the start of February, and are the perfect opportunity to enjoy a Royal Caribbean cruise. Another option is the Term 1 school holidays that take place during April, when the Australian cruise season is still in full swing. Competitive pricing means the whole family can cruise for the same price (or less) than a driving or resort holiday.
Cabin options on Royal Caribbean vessels have also moved with the times, facilitating extended families and group bookings. From toddlers to seniors, facilities enable comfort, convenience and accessibility so everyone can have the time of their lives. Royal Caribbean are low on price yet high on quality, resulting in it becoming one of the world’s largest and most popular cruise lines.
Sydney is a must-see international destination, boasting the best that modern living has to offer. Visitors are awed by the beauty of the harbour, friendly people and numerous cultural attractions. There is really no better way to appreciate Sydney than when on the water, and Royal Caribbean presents the opportunity to see it all in style.