Royal Caribbean on Wednesday announced that its newbuild Ovation of the Seas cruise ship will head to Sydney, Australia for the winter 2016-17 season, a testament to the region’s fast-growing cruise ship market.
The 168,600-gt, 4,180 passenger Ovation of the Seas is the third ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class and like its predecessors – Quantum of the Seas (2014) and Anthem of the Seas (2015) – is being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard. Delivery of Ovation of the Seas is expected for spring 2016.
The vessel is to spend its inaugural season in China before heading down under for the 2016/2017 winter season, Royal Caribbean revealed Wednesday.
Royal Caribbean says that Ovation of the Seas will not only claim the title of the largest cruise ship to ever be homeported in Australia, but it will also be the most technologically advanced in the region.
The ship will be the fifth ship in the Royal Caribbean Australian fleet for winter 2016-17, joining four other Royal Caribbean ships – Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney and Legend of the Seas in Brisbane.
Also on Wednesday, Carnival Corporation’s Prince Cruise Line revealed that it will home port five ships in Australia to sail the cruise line’s largest-ever program in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for the 2016-2017 season. The program will introduce the 3,082-guest Emerald Princess to the market, with Golden Princess returning to sail from Melbourne and Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess rounding out the fleet.
A report released last June by the cruise industry association CLIA showed that in 2013 the Australian cruise industry ranked as the number one in the world for market growth and penetration, with a record 833,348 Australians – or 3.6 percent of the entire Australian population – taking a cruise in 2013. The report also showed that Australian cruise passenger numbers soared 20 percent in 2013, more than double the growth rate of any other major cruise market.