Bargains ahoy as new armada sets sail for Australia

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Cruise lines are gearing up for a battle over Australian cruisers, as an armada of new ships sail Down Under over the next few years.

And that means some of the best savings ever on cabins.

This week the two biggest cruise lines in Australia went head-to-head slashing up to 50 percent off 2014/15 local cruises in what could be a glimpse of what’s to come.

P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and Portuscale Cruises are all home porting new ships in the country. While MSC Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Compagnie du Ponant have ships making one-off visits over the same period.

The new armada will be led by Carnival Legend and Celebrity Century when the two ships arrive in September and October.

The first Compagnie du Ponant expedition ship will visit Australian shores in November with the arrival of L’Austral, and regional Australia will get a boost when Portuscale Cruises’ Funchal is based in Geelong in Victoria from February.

MSC Orchestra will pick up Anzac Day enthusiasts when she visits in March before heading out on an Anzac centenary cruise.

Amidst the excitement, P&O Cruises will introduce two new ships to its Australian fleet – Holland America’s Ryndam and Statendam. The vessels will undergo refurbishment before commencing cruises under the P&O umbrella in November 2015.

Meanwhile over at Royal Caribbean, the line has been busy with plans to send Explorer of the Seas and Legend of the Seas Down Under next year. Explorer of the Seas will join its sister-ship Voyager of the Seas from Sydney, while Legend of the Seas will be line’s first ship to be based from Queensland.

Princess Cruises is also moving to base ships outside of Sydney, with Golden Princess making her debut in Melbourne and Sun Princess in Fremantle from October 2015.

Then there’s Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest, which is sailing to the country for the first time in January 2016 to make 25 port calls in Australia and New Zealand.

For Australian cruisers this means more choice and massive savings as cruise lines slash prices to fill beds.

P&O is offering 30 percent on Australian and South Pacific cruises as part of a massive clearance sale. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean’s four-day Global ‘WOW’ sale saw cruisers receiving valued add-ons such as 50 percent off a second passenger.

But they’re not the only ones cutting the prices.

Cunard is offering 15 percent off Queen Mary 2’s circumnavigation of New Zealand and 2015 World Cruises and Princess Cruises has 20 percent off launch fares on New Zealand, South Pacific and local sailings.

Have you picked up a 2014/15-cruise deal? Let us know by leaving a comment below.