7 April 2014, Sydney: Royal Caribbean International is proud to announce that Explorer of the Seas will join the region’s local fleet in November 2015, replacing Rhapsody of the Seas.
The 3,800-guest, 138,000-ton Explorer of the Seas is a slightly larger sister ship to Voyager of the Seas, currently the largest ship ever to be deployed to the region. The ship’s maiden Australia season will take in ports across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, along with repositioning cruises both to and from Singapore.
Together Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas are “Australia’s biggest megaliners” boasting unrivalled ‘WOW’ features such as a new FlowRider surf simulator, an ice-skating rink, 10 pools & whirlpools, and the impressive Royal Promenade: an interior boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship that is flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques and where spectacular parades and evening dance parties are held.
The spectacular Explorer of the Seas was launched in 2000 and is currently based in Cape Liberty, New York sailing to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada. Only last week it was announced that she will spend (northern) summer 2015 in Southampton, England on her first ever European deployment. In October she will then commence a month-long journey to Singapore; followed by a grand tour of western and southern Australia – taking in maiden ports of call in Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and finally New Zealand – en route to Sydney.
Explorer of the Seas arrives in Sydney for the very first time on 28th November 2015 for an historic Sydney harbour rendezvous with Voyager of the Seas. Spectators will be able to witness the unforgettable sight of the largest cruise ship capacity on Sydney harbour in one day, with over 10,000 guests and crew onboard.
The smaller 2,400-guest Rhapsody of the Seas will leave the local fleet in April 2015 after eight successive seasons. Demand is expected to be high on her farewell summer 2014-15 season as her many loyal fans bid farewell to one of Australia’s most popular cruise ships. She will be based in the Mediterranean from May to October 2015 with further itineraries to be announced shortly.
Radiance of the Seas completes the trio of ships for the 2015-16 season and continues to sail her popular itineraries to the South Pacific islands and around Australia.
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All three ships will enjoy the benefits of the “Royal Advantage” fleet revitalisation program, which involves bow-to-stern renovations and the addition of many new amenities – including new speciality restaurants, a nursery, a poolside movie screen, new shops and lounges. Radiance of the Seas already completed her extensive facelift in 2011 whilst Voyager of the Seas will emerge from drydock in November 2014 and Explorer of the Seas in April 2015. With a total investment of approximately $200 million on these three ships alone, this firmly establishes the Royal Caribbean fleet as the biggest, most modern and most impressive cruise ships based in the region.
“We are thrilled to introduce Explorer of the Seas as the latest world-leading cruise ship to Australia – a major milestone that reinforces Royal Caribbean International’s position as Sydney’s biggest cruise line,” said Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President Asia-Pacific
“Our local fleet represents the largest investment made by a cruise line in Australia and demonstrates our absolute commitment to the local cruise market.
“We also bid a fond farewell to the much-loved Rhapsody of the Seas, the founding ship of our local operation which has provided over 300,000 Australians with unforgettable holiday memories since 2007.”
The 2015-16 Australia & New Zealand cruise season will go on sale in late April 2014.
This announcement is the latest in a number of exciting key changes to Royal Caribbean’s deployment. In the last two months the brand has announced its return to Dubai from late 2015; that new ship Anthem of the Seas will be based in the UK when she is launched in April 2015; and the world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, will sail her maiden season in the Mediterranean in 2015.
New ship Quantum of the Seas is set to debut in November 2014 and it was recently revealed that she will feature a revolutionary new “Dynamic Dining” concept, including the Jamie’s Italian restaurant from UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Finally, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical CATS will be introduced to Oasis of the Seas later this year. Further announcements on product and global deployment are expected in the coming months.
Key Facts: Explorer of the Seas
- Maiden voyage 28 October, 2000
- 137,308 tons
- 310 metres long
- 3,840 guests in 1,557 staterooms
- 1,185 crew members
- 15 decks
- Onboard ice-skating rink
- Royal Promenade complete with shops, cafes and bars
- Speciality dining venues: Portofino Italian Restaurant and Johnny Rockets
- 10 pools and whirlpools
- 15 bars, clubs and lounges
- Rock climbing wall, basketball court, a jogging path, an inline skating track
- 9-hole mini-golf course and golf simulator
- Skylight wedding chapel
- 35-day, multi-million dollar revitalisation scheduled in March/April 2015 which will add a FlowRider surf simulator; a 3-D Movie theatre; a new range of onboard restaurants; new staterooms and suites; plus new “virtual balconies” that bring live ocean and destination views into interior staterooms. Additional revitalization details will be unveiled at a later date.
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About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.