Explorer’s multi-million dollar makeover

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas will undergo a multi-million dollar upgrade before she arrives in Australia next year.

Regional vice president Asia-Pacific Gavin Smith said the makeover will take place in April next year as part of the line’s fleet revitalisation.

During the upgrade, Explorer of the Seas will receive the FlowRider surf simulator – which will be the first FlowRider in local waters.

The ship will also extra dining options, a 3D movie theatre and virtual balconies to offer inside cabins a balcony experience.

Following her revitalisation she will head to Australia where she will replace Rhapsody of the Seas for the 2015/16-summer season.

Australian favourite, Voyager of the Seas will also undergo a similar upgrade later this year.

Voyager will meet up with Explorer for a historic rendezvous in Sydney Harbour on 28 November 2015.

“Two of the world’s largest ships in the southern hemisphere will be on the world’s most beautiful harbor on the same day,” Mr Gavin said at a media event in Sydney.

During her time in Australia, Explorer will undertake 18 cruises in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Replacing Rhapsody of the Seas with Explorer will increase the line’s capacity in Australia by 1,800 passengers per sailing.

Although Mr Smith says Rhapsody is popular in Australia, replacing her with a bigger ship was more practical than sending a fourth ship to the region.

“Circular Quay is a congested facility and while it’s world class and meets our needs, the most appropriate method to expand the brand is to exchange a 2,000 passenger ship with a 3,800 passenger ship,” he explained.

“This gives us an opportunity to carry more Australians and New Zealander on cruise holidays without occupying more slots at Circular Quay.”

With the changeover, Rhapsody of the Seas will then head to the Mediterranean for a season in Europe.