Carnival the new wizards of Oz?

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You’ve got to feel sorry for Australians, haven’t you? Their cricket team is getting hit for six by England, and vast areas of a country accustomed to drought and forest fires are currently under water as Queensland is hit by floods of Biblical proportions.
At least they’ve got something to look forward to – Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is basing a ship in Australia for the first time next year, sailing eight and 12-night cruises to the Pacific islands, and 13-night voyages to New Zealand.
The 10-year-old Carnival Spirit, carrying more than 2,000 passengers, is too big to squeeze under Sydney Harbour Bridge, so will use the city’s Circular Quay terminal when it transfers from its current base in California, in October 2012. Carnival Australia boss Ann Sherry is looking for a berth to be made available at the Royal Australian Navy base at Garden Island.
In most areas, Carnival continues to sell its cruises mainly to Americans, but Spirit will be aiming to capture a big chunk of business from locals, who are one of the fastest-growing cruise markets in the world. P&O Australia operate a fleet of four ships, two of them – Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel – until recently the Ocean Village fleet for the UK market, and Princess Cruises, another Carnival subsidiary, also has two ships in the area throughout the year.
Carnival has announced that tips will be included in the fares, and the on-board currency will be Australian dollars.
Australians are clearly a different breed of cruise passenger from those who pack their dinner jackets and ball gowns to sail from Southampton and Dover – P&O Australia has taken legal action to restrict the numbers of under-21-year-old passengers who have taken to cruising in large numbers to celebrate the end of school.
Meanwhile, the Queensland floods have led to a diversion for cruise ship Pacific Dawn, which is based in Brisbane, and was due to return to the port on Saturday after a seven day cruise to the Pacific islands of New Caledonia.
The ship will head instead to Sydney, 450 miles to the south. Disembarking passengers will be flown back to Brisbane, and those joining the next cruise are being contacted to be told how they will be transported to Sydney, and how their itinerary will be affected.

By | 2011-01-12T13:32:37+00:00 12 January 2011|Cruise destinations, Cruise news|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

2 Comments

  1. Kevin 12 January 2011 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I don’t feel sorry for Australians, but I’m not sure it’s fair to inflict a Carnival cruise ship on them. Will the ship be able to carry enough beer, and will they have enough shrimps to throw on the barbie?

  2. Rick 17 January 2011 at 5:16 am - Reply

    I am sure there will be plenty of room for beer and prawns without all those whinging Poms on board!

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