Sunday morning was a historic moment for Wollongong as Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas made her maiden call to the south coast destination.

It’s the first time a ship has ever called at Port Kembla and the ship and her arrival was celebrated with a special fly-over by a vintage Catalina flying boat as well as thousands of locals waving the ship in along.

“We have been working towards our call to Wollongong for quite some time. Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas had a wonderful day exploring the city and local area, making the dedication and hard work that’s gone into this project for the past two and a half years all worthwhile,” said Adam Armstrong, the Managing Director of Royal Caribbean in Australia and New Zealand.

Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas were treated to a special ‘Welcome to Wollongong’ marketplace which showcased local produce and products from the region. There were also 400 volunteers that helped throughout the day.

Guests also had the option of seven different shore excursions which included a visit to Bald Hill Lookout, Jamberoo Action Park, Kiama, Shellharbour Viillage, Symbio Wildlife Park and the Nan Tien Temple.

“This was the first of many visits to Wollongong: we have now scheduled four more calls over the next 18 months with the larger 3,800-guest megaliners Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas. In total, we expect to bring in more than 16,000 visitors and inject more than $2.8 million into the local economy,” said Mr Armstrong.

“We are very proud to be the first cruise line to bring a ship to Wollongong and this historic milestone marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between Royal Caribbean and the region.  We will continue to explore opportunities to utilise the port as an overflow to Sydney Harbour.”

Radiance of the Seas left Wollongong last night and arrived in Sydney this morning before finishing a seven-night roundtrip voyage to Melbourne and Hobart.