Carnival Cruise Lines announced today that it will base one of its ‘Fun Ships’ full time in Australia. The 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail year round from Australia when she arrives in Sydney in October 2012 to operate a schedule of 8-12 day voyages to the Pacific Islands. The move represents the first time Carnival Cruise Lines has ever ventured into Australian waters and reflects growing confidence in cruising in the region.
Carrying 2,667 passengers, Carnival Spirit will be the first ship to be based in Sydney year round that is too tall to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Rising nearly 53 metres above the waterline, Carnival Spirit is more than three metres taller than the specified clearance height for ships passing under the Bridge. Because of its height, Carnival Spirit will be based at the only cruise facility east of the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay’s Overseas Passenger Terminal.
Carnival Spirit will offer a year round schedule of 8 to 12-day cruises to the Pacific Islands and a selection of 13-day sailings to New Zealand beginning October 25, 2012, with the program expected to go on sale by the middle of this year. The shipboard experience will be tailored to the Australian market with onboard spending in Australian dollars and no tipping required.
The big question is: Will they serve vegemite sandwiches in the Lido Grill?
By Anita Dunham-Potter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Carnival Cruise Lines will operate seven-day Alaska cruises round-trip from Seattle, beginning in May 2010. This will be a first for Carnival and Seattle. The company said 17 voyages are planned through Aug. 31, departing Tuesdays aboard Carnival Spirit.
The unusual Tuesday sailings should make for calls in less crowded days at Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria. The ship will also cruise Tracy Arm Fjord.
Carnival’s Lynn Torrent, svp sales and guest services, called Seattle a “terrific addition” to the company’s abundant North American homeport lineup. The city also provides “a convenient and affordable air transportation option, as well as the opportunity for those in the Western region of the US to drive,” she added.
Prior to the program’s start, Carnival Spirit will operate two special voyages – a six-day Inside Passage cruise from Vancouver to Seattle departing May 5, 2010, and a seven-day Glacier Bay cruise from Seattle to Vancouver Sept. 7, 2010. Both call at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan; the seven-day cruise adds Glacier Bay.
Carnival Spirit has operated in Alaska for a number of years with sailings from Vancouver and Whittier and, previously, Seward.