Australia set for bumper summer cruise season
AUSTRALIA is gearing up for a spectacular summer cruise season with the number of ships visiting the region set to exceed pre-pandemic levels, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director Australasia Joel Katz.
“Australia will welcome around 70 cruise ships over the 2023-24 season, which is well above the 60 ships that visited in 2019-20,” said Katz.
Among newcomers to the Australian cruise scene this summer will be Virgin Voyages, Disney Cruise Line and Scenic.
“Australia has become one of the most vibrant cruise regions in the world, and this means more options than ever for cruise fans,” said Katz.
Among the cruise lines (in alphabetical order) operating in Australian waters during the summer season are:
Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey will sail a variety of cruises in the region after arriving in Geraldton (Western Australia) in mid-December then sailing the Great Australian Bight before heading to New Zealand.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Luminosa is based in Brisbane for her summer cruise season, while Carnival Splendor is based year-round in Sydney.
Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Edge will debut in the region from December 9 for its inaugural sailing from Sydney, with cruises in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Crystal will return to Australia and New Zealand in December under the A&K Travel Group banner. Following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, Crystal Symphony will start its Australian cruises in early December.
Crystal Serenity will also visit Australia and New Zealand in March 2024 as a part of her 125-night 2024 World Cruise.
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will arrive in Fremantle on November 27 to begin its summer cruises in Australia and New Zealand, while Queen Mary 2 arrives in mid-February for its cruises.
Disney Cruise Line is bringing the magic of a Disney holiday to Australia and New Zealand during its “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises aboard the Disney Wonder from late October to February 2024.
Holland America Line’s Noordam will kick off its Australia and New Zealand season from November to April, departing from both Sydney and Auckland. As part of a global cruise, the line’s Zuiderdam will visit in January 2024.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit will home port in Sydney and New Zealand from December until March, including New Year’s Eve in majestic Milford Sound.
Oceania Cruises is preparing for a return to Australia and New Zealand with three ships sailing in local waters over summer – Insignia, Regatta and Nautica.
P&O Cruises Australia will have nearly 90 sailings during summer on its three ships – Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter and Pacific Explorer.
Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess will begin her maiden season cruising in Australia and New Zealand from late October, joining sister ship Majestic Princess which will also be based in Sydney.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer will return to Australia and New Zealand in December, while Seven Seas Navigator sails into Australia in December.
Royal Caribbean has Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas returning to Australia, while Brilliance of the Seas will have its first season down under sailing from Sydney.
Seabourn cruises’ Seabourn Odyssey arrives in Auckland on November 23 before a summer of cruising from Sydney.
Silversea has its luxury ships Silver Muse, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper cruising in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific from December to March.
Virgin Voyages makes its debut in Australia with Resilient Lady arriving in December to cruise around Australia and New Zealand from her home port in Melbourne.
Meriton Suites opens in Melbourne
MERITON Suites, Australia’s largest owner-operator of apartment-style hotels, opened the doors to its first Melbourne property on September 26.
Harry Triguboff, founder and managing director of the Meriton Group, cut the ceremonial ribbon at the official launch on September 27 in the foyer of the hotel at 140 King Street, a short distance from Southern Cross Station.
It has been a busy month of expansion for the hotel and apartment developer with new Meriton Suites hotels also opening in Canberra on August 19 and Liverpool on September 23.
The three hotels were built at a total cost of more than $400 million and feature spacious one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites with kitchen and laundry facilities.
Meriton Suites Melbourne has 298 apartment-style suites spread over 57 levels including two spacious penthouse suites on the top floor.
Triguboff launched his apartment business in Sydney in 1963 and the hotel division in 2003 and now operates 23 Meriton Suites hotels around Australia.
For more information: meritonsuites.com.au
The Calile Hotel scores global accolade
BRISBANE’S Calile Hotel is the only Australian property in the inaugural The World’s 50 Best Hotels awards which have just been announced in London.
The boutique hotel in Fortitude Valley, managed by TFE Hotels, was ranked 12th in the world and was also named The Best Hotel in Oceania.
The World’s 50 Best Hotels list was created by The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, an influential group of more than 580 hotel experts.
The 24-room Passalacqua, set in an 18th Century Italian villa on the edge of magical Lake Como, took out first place on the list.
The Calile Hotel co-owner Catherine Malouf, who attended the award ceremony, said: “We are humbled to represent the Australian hotel industry on the world stage. There is no doubt The Calile Hotel has carved a name for itself and sparked a trend in ‘urban resorts’ with its bold architectural commitment, sustainable practises and by embracing its local and sub-tropic climate within an urban setting.”
The Calile Hotel general manager Rob Unson said the award was a fitting fifth birthday present for the 175-room boutique hotel, which features a stone-tiled pool and leafy pool terrace, outdoor dining, cabanas and sun lounges.