Promising 18 ships from eight brands this summer with 667 turnarounds and port calls to 33 destinations, Carnival kicked off the 2022 wave season this morning in spectacular style with the arrival of Carnival Splendor.
The season promises to be even bigger than the pre-pandemic 2019 season.
Carnival Splendor was escorted into Sydney Harbour by P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Adventure. The two vessels met off the coast, sailing together before separating to enter the harbour in majestic single file and momentarily pausing adjacent to Fort Denison.
A company statement said Carnival Australia’s three cruise brands that base ships year round in Australia — P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line — are well advanced in their restoration of local operations.
Cunard will also base Queen Elizabeth in Australia for its longest ever local season of cruises, while two Holland America Line ships and a Seabourn ship will also spend significant periods in Australian waters.
“We are seeing the rapid recovery of cruise tourism in Australia and Carnival Australia’s brands are set to make an important contribution during the 2022-23 summer cruise season,” President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald said.
“The resurgence of cruising and the revitalisation of the $5-billion-a-year cruise industry has happened at a faster rate than could have been expected after more than two challenging years.
“As Australia’s main cruising organisation, we are grateful to our guests and suppliers who kept the faith and to federal and state government authorities that backed the resumption of cruise operations.
“As our ships have progressively returned to service, we have experienced the excitement of regional destinations as they have seen cruise visitors and opportunity return.”
Carnival Splendor carried out a 23-night Transpacific voyage from Seattle. Her arrival comes near to a thousand days since her last Australian sailing.
Carnival Cruise Line President, Christine Duffy said: “After an extremely successful restart in the US, we’re thrilled to bring our signature brand of fun cruising back into Aussie waters. The return of Carnival Splendor to Sydney is a milestone achievement, not just for us, but for the Australian cruising industry as a whole.
“Her arrival marks the first cruise ship to enter Australian waters with international passengers in nearly three years. Splendor’s return also kick-starts an exciting time for Carnival Cruise Line as it celebrates 10 years in Australia in October, and Brisbane being the first to experience our newest ship, Carnival Luminosa, in November.”
Six of the 18 Carnival Australia ships sailing local waters will be making their maiden visit to Australia this summer, including P&O Cruises Pacific Adventure, Princess Cruises Grand Princess and Island Princess, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Luminosa and Holland America Line’s Westerdam and Zuiderdam.
Destinations in all Australian states will benefit from cruise calls and turnarounds including:
NSW — Sydney, Eden and Newcastle.
QLD — Brisbane, Moreton Island, Airlie Beach and Cairns.
VIC — Melbourne and Phillip Island
SA — Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln.
WA — Fremantle, Albany, Broome and the Kimberley region.
TAS — Hobart, Burnie and Port Arthur.
2022-23 Highlights by Brand
- As its fleet evolves, Australia’s homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises will welcome the debut of its third ship, Pacific Adventure, this cruise season.
- Arriving in Sydney in September 2022, Pacific Adventure will embark on her first cruise from the city on October 22.
- Pacific Adventure will join Pacific Encounter, which debuted in Australia in August 2022, and Pacific Explorer in a full program of itineraries across the summer.
- Between them the P&O ships will sail on 114 cruises during the 2022-23 season and make more than 200 calls to Australian ports including 20 maiden ship visits to Australian ports.
- Highlights of the season include the return of P&O’s popular Melbourne Cup and Australian Open Tennis cruises and a new solar eclipse cruise in Western Australia in April 2023.
- Princess Cruises 2022-23 summer season will feature three ships homeported in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne – Majestic Princess, Coral Princess and Grand Princess – as well as a world cruise visit by Island Princess
- The summer season will see the Australian debut of Grand Princess for her maiden season Down Under, the inaugural visit to Australia by Island Princess, and more maiden visits to Australian ports by Coral Princess which arrived in Australia in June 2022 for her first season Down Under.
- For the first time, all Princess ships operating in Australia will be MedallionClass-enabled.
- The ships will feature a new range of shore tour excursions led by local experts offering authentic experiences.
- Between them the four ships will make 180 calls to Australian ports including almost 30 maiden ship calls.
Carnival Cruise Line
- This summer will see the return of Carnival Splendor to Australian waters, sailing from Sydney from October 2022, and the Australian debut of Carnival Cruise Line’s latest ship, Carnival Luminosa, which will be based in Brisbane for a series of 28 cruises commencing November 6, 2022.
- During the summer season, Carnival Luminosa will make four maiden calls to Australian ports, while Carnival Splendor will make two.
- The two Carnival ships will make more than 100 calls to Australian ports over the season.
- All three Cunard ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – will sail in Australian waters this summer.
- Queen Elizabeth will be home ported in Sydney and Melbourne for a record 121-day season offering 29 voyages.
- Highlights of Queen Elizabeth’s season include Cunard’s inaugural Australian gardening and culinary themed voyages as well as the ship’s first Australian circumnavigation.
- Across the season, Cunard’s fleet will make 55 calls to Australian ports.
- Three Holland America Line ships will sail in local waters during the cruise season: Noordam (based in Sydney from November 12-April 8); Westerdam (sailing from Sydney from November 8 to January 3) and Zuiderdam which will make six Australian calls in February 2023 during her world voyage.
- Both Westerdam and Zuiderdam will be making their inaugural visits to Australia.
- Between them, the three ships will make more than 60 calls to ports around Australia, including more than 20 maiden ship visits.
- Noordam and Westerdam will offer 17 voyages from Australia including Noordam’s inaugural 35-day Australia Circumnavigation during November and December 2022.
- Seabourn will once again host two ships in Australian waters this summer, with Seabourn Odyssey spending four months sailing local waters between November 2022 and March 2023, and Seabourn Sojourn making 14 calls to Australian ports in March as part of her world cruise.
- Between them, the two ships will make more than 40 calls to Australian ports across the season including seven maiden ship calls
- The season will include Seabourn’s first ever call to Albany in Western Australia when Seabourn Sojourn visits the port on March 17, 2023.
- Highlights of Seabourn Odyssey’s season include an array of 12 to 26 day voyages between Australia and New Zealand and a 14-day NZ Yacht Harbours voyage.
P&O Cruises World Cruising
- P&O Cruises World Cruising’s popular Arcadia will visit Australia as part of her world cruise – a 99-night circumnavigation which departs Southampton on January 3, 2023.
- Arcadia will overnight in Sydney on February 19 before sailing north to Brisbane, Airlie Beach and Cairns.