CRUISING in Australasian waters is so popular that P&O Cruises is adding two new ships to its year-round Australian based fleet in 2015.
P&O’s new ships are currently sailing with Holland America Line as ms Ryndam (in Baltic waters right now), and ms Statendam (in Alaska). Both ships are of similar mid-range size – around 2000 passengers – to the three existing P&O Cruises’ ships Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.
australiancruisingnews.com notes that many Australians already know ms Ryndam and ms Statendam from cruises to Alaska which is a major destination for Holland America cruise ships, and a favourite first-time overseas cruise destination for Australian travellers.
P&O Cruises, Tammy Marshall says the new ships will be tailored for local cruise passenger tastes, and new itineraries for the expanded fleet will range from short-break cruises to traditional voyages to the South Pacific, as well as new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and South East Asia, pocruises.com.au
At the same time Royal Caribbean has announced that Legend of the Seas will be in Australia for a five-month season late next year to meet the growing demand for cruising options Down Under.
It will be Royal Caribbean’s biggest fleet in Australia at one time with Legend of the Seas in Brisbane and Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney. Together they will offer over 70 itineraries featuring Australian, South Pacific and New Zealand ports, royalcaribbean.com.au
Also in the news is the boutique cruise ship Azamara Quest which arrives in December next year on her maiden Australasian voyage with a focus on cruises to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and to New Zealand’s North and South Islands, azamaraclubcruises.com
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) Managing Director, Rodger Powell, says that when cruise ships are in town the local economy is boosted with hotels full of guests staying before departure and after arrival, and spending money in local restaurants, and on shopping and sightseeing.