Royal Caribbean today announced that its third Quantum Class ship, Ovation of the Seas, will be homeported in Sydney for the 2016-2017 season. Weighing 167,800 tonnes and carrying 4,180 passengers at double occupancy (4,905 at full capacity) across 16 decks it will be the largest ship ever based in Australia.
Ovation will be the fifth ship in Royal Caribbean’s Australian fleet when it arrives in December 2016, joining Radiance, Voyager, Explorer and Legend. Passengers can expect Quantum Class features onboard like the RipCord by iFly skydiving stimulator, North Star viewing pod, a kids’ water park and virtual balconies for inside cabins. Itineraries will be announced in May.
Gavin Smith, regional vice president, Royal Caribbean, Asia Pacific, said “Royal Caribbean has been breaking the boundaries in Australian cruising since we arrived in 2007 but today, we have completely changed the face of the cruise industry, making the single largest investment in Australia by any cruise line. Ovation of the Seas will completely redefine the idea of cruising in Australia, taking the industry to the next level by offering a host of incredible never-before-seen features and technologies. This demonstrates our belief in, and long term commitment to, the Australian cruising market.”
Mr Smith said the decision to homeport Ovation of the Seas in Australia was due to the region’s growing cruise industry.
Australians need to be able to cruise on these kinds of ships without having to travel overseas. Royal Caribbean will be launching itineraries and will be on sale by the end of May. We have designed five-day cruise programs that sail around Australia and New Zealand.
“Royal Caribbean hopes this is just the start of the Quantum class ships heading to Australia. There is long term growth in Australia, and the cruise industry is growing faster than even the United States so Australians will be seeing more of these kinds of ships in their waters.”
CEO of the NSW Port Authority, Grant Gilfillan said the Overseas Passenger Terminal will be ready for Ovation of the Seas, but if Australia is to look at hosting larger ships in the future, the State Government will have to look at other options.
“Royal Caribbean has been extremely cooperative and to grow this partnership and the economy, we will need to find more options for ships of this size. We will look at maybe co-sharing with the Army base and Garden Island,” he said.
“The Premier (Mike Baird) and Ports Minister (Duncan Gay) are here in spirit. They have been notified and told about this major announcement.”
Ovation of the Seas will be completed in April 2016. She is worth US$1 billion.