Bigger Ships To Australia From Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line

Cruising in Australia and New Zealand is set to receive a boost during the 2012/2013 winter season. Following industry giant Carnival’s announcement that it will send the 2,667-passenger Carnival Spirit down under for the first time in late 2012, 2 other lines have revealed plans to increase capacity with bigger ships. Celebrity Cruises will deploy its award-winning Celebrity Solstice to the region, while Holland America Line is sending the 1,926-passenger ms Oosterdam as part of a 2-ship deployment.


Celebrity Solstice Brings Signature Attributes Down Under For The First Time

In a sign of renewed confidence in the region’s cruise market, Celebrity Cruises is following up on its return Down Under later this year with the deployment of the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice in Australia and New Zealand for the 2012/2013 winter season. The 2-year-old vessel replaces her smaller sister Celebrity Century and will improve the onboard experience for cruisers, bringing innovations such as the Lawn Club and Hot Glass Show, as well as many of the line’s signature attributes including the AquaClass staterooms, signature restaurants, Celebrity iLounge and state-of-the-art entertainment.


After spending the summer in the Mediterranean, the ship will reposition to Australia via the Suez Canal and Southeast Asia, with multiple overnights in ports including Cochin and Dubai. Following her arrival in Sydney in early December 2012, she will sail a series of 12- and 13-night open-jaw cruises between Sydney and Auckland, as well as a circumnavigation of Australia comprised of 2 open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Perth, with most of the itineraries featuring overnight stays in Sydney.


While sailing in Australia and New Zealand, Celebrity Solstice will provide a series of destination-focused products onboard, including shore excursions to local vineyards, talks by cultural entertainers and speakers, as well as special food and drink menus. Celebrity Cruises will also continue to offer its popular pre- and post-cruise land tour packages, which will visit destinations including the Auckland, Great Barrier Reef, Queenstown, Rotorua, Sydney and Uluru.


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ms Oosterdam Boosts Holland America Line’s Capacity In Australia And New Zealand By 25 Percent

Following an earlier announcement marking the 2011/2012 season as the first time Holland America Line is deploying 2 ships to Australia and New Zealand, the line has revealed that the 1,926-passenger ms Oosterdam will replace the 1,432-passenger ms Zaandam in the region for the 2012/2013 winter season. Together with the ms Volendam, the deployment will increase the Seattle-based line’s capacity Down Under by 25 percent, strengthening its commitment to the market.


The ship will spend her summer season cruising Alaska before sailing down the Pacific Ocean to Australia. Holland America Line will announce detailed itineraries later this year and ms Oosterdam is planned to operate cruises ranging from 10- to 25-days in and around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The line will also be offering its extensive selection of shore excursions to complement the various port calls.


In service since 2003, ms Oosterdam features more space for guests while retaining Holland America Line’s mid-sized cruising charm. Signature offerings onboard include staterooms with generous personal space, gourmet dining in her Pinnacle Grill and Lido Restaurant, exquisite furnishings and enrichment programmes at The Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows, The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine and the Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times.


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