Sydney’s capacity problems continued this week as Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas spent Thursday anchored in the harbour while passengers disembarked by ferry to White Bay Cruise Terminal.

Royal Caribbean told CP: “Radiance of the Seas will embark and disembark guests while at anchor at Athol Buoy in Sydney Harbour using a dedicated ferry service from White Bay Cruise Terminal, because Ovation of the Seas is using the Overseas Passenger Terminal since she is too large to turnaround elsewhere.”

Cruise Passenger readers spoke of delays and missed tours – but most seemed satisfied Royal Caribbean had done its best. Reader Barbara Voysey wrote on our Facebook Page: “it wasn’t ideal to have to large ships in on the one day. Yes embarking was a bit of a nightmare but our luggage was waiting in our cabin by the time we arrived. We sailed on 28/1.”

Sydney Ports held meetings with cruise lines last week and is expected to start trials of “double berthing” – meaning ships arrive at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at 3 am, and leave at lunchtime, so another vessel can berth.

 Holland America partners Oprah

Oprah Winfrey will cruise to Alaska mid-year to launch a partnership between The Oprah Magazine, and Holland America Line, according to an announcement by the cruise company and Hearst magazines. The O Program, on 300 cruises, will “bring the magazine to life” with meditation, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, and a book club. Four trips will feature appearances by members of the “SuperSoul 100,” a group of entrepreneurs, authors, artists and others deemed inspirational by Winfrey.

You’re a Legend

 Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas departs our shores for the last time at the end of this month after carrying 50,000 Australian passengers over some 18 years. Cairns will be the final port of call in Queensland as the ship departs Australia for the final time.

The vessel has spent two successful seasons serving as the company’s first Brisbane-based ship. Royal Caribbean’s Adam Armstrong said Legend of the Seas was the company’s first to visit Australia 18 years ago. “It is with great sadness we must bid a fond farewell to this Aussie favourite.”

Azamara says G’Day

Azamara Journey made her Australian debut, arriving in Darwin, her very first Australian port of call.
“We are very excited to be welcoming Azamara Journey to Australia for the first time. She is a completely new ship compared to her sister Azamara Quest who made her debut last summer, after a $25 million make over in April,” said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Azamara Club Cruises Australia & NZ.
The 690-guest ship later departed Darwin  continuing her 18-night Singapore to Sydney sailing. She’ll call at Thursday Island, Port Douglas, Cairns and Townsville before arriving in Sydney for the first time on Sunday 19 February.

Emerald explosion

A crewman died after a gas explosion aboard the Emerald Princess in New Zealand’s Port Chalmers. The Sydney-based liner operated by Princess Cruises and part of Carnival Australia, occurred while the ship was docked in the Dunedin port. “We are deeply saddened that a member of Emerald Princess’ crew was fatally injured in the incident,” a spokesman said.