Royal Caribbean is to move one of its newest and biggest ships to Sydney and offer free cruises to those who helped fight the bushfires from next Saturday.
The two complimentary four-night coastal sailings on the Spectrum of the Seas will accommodate up to 7,000 guests across two cruises and will depart from Sydney on February 29 and March 7.
“We are working with state-based volunteer agencies to directly notify and encourage eligible volunteers and their families to join us for a few days to relax, unwind and enjoy our hospitality,” says the line in a statement.
We look forward to giving these dedicated members of our community an amazing holiday,” says the line.
The line has also confirmed the full details of both sailings.
Both cruises will embark at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal and cruise to nowhere for 3-nights before returning back to Sydney’s White Bay Cruise Terminal for disembarkation via ferry/tender.
The line will be picking up the tab for the cruise fare, all taxes and fees. While onboard, the line will also be including all meals in the main dining rooms, beer and wine service at dinner meals (Guests 18+ only) · All tea, coffee, soft drink and bottled water as well as shows and entertainment are all included as well.
Activities like the iFly, Flowrider, SeaPlex, games arcade and bumper cars, North Star, Sky Pad are also all included.
The Voom WIFI is offered at a discounted price of $5 per day per device (surf & stream) and there will be a 30 per cent discount on all alcoholic beverages. Things like specialty restaurants, spa treatments come at extra charge.
There will be a selection of double, triple and quad occupancy staterooms, and these will be allocated as part of the ballot when advising your guest requirements.
All volunteers will be advised on their successful ballot by close of business on Tuesday, February 25.
Spectrum of the Seas is now on her way to Australia via Manila and will arrive in Sydney for the first cruise on February 29, 2020. The ship and crew have not been in China for more than two weeks, exceeding the public health guidelines.
“In light of the ongoing Coronavirus issues in China, Royal Caribbean has announced it will moveSpectrum of the Seas to Australia as a gesture to thank the humanitarian efforts put forth to combat the wildfires”, says the line in a statement.
“Spectrum of the Seas will travel to Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia’s first responder community, who worked tirelessly over many weeks of the bush fire crisis.”
Spectrum of the Seas, which has been virtually idle since the virus but has been away from China for two weeks, will be part of a major push to change the narrative about cruise ships and coronavirus.
“We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
“By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality.”
Bayley made it clear Spectrum of the Seas has not been in China for more than two weeks, which makes the ship safe from possibly transporting Coronavirus.
Royal Caribbean is also planning to move a ship in China “to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus” once the medical situation eases.
The move will come at the end of Australia’s wave season and represents one of the biggest game-changers in the industry.
Further details of the cruises and itineraries are still being worked out, and an announcement is expected next week.
Celebrity Cruises also announced that it intends to use Celebrity Millennium for a series of three-, four-, and five-night Pacific Coastal sailings in the US hosting “Cruising for Heroes” sailings in March and April in support of California’s firefighters, first responders, and veterans.