Here are some of the key story highlights: "Not since the days of Australia's gold rush in the 1800s -- and before that the dumping of 164,000 convicts unwanted by England -- have so many passenger ships sailed toward the land Down Under. This time, ships are westward bound for a different kind of gold: folding money from the purses of potential cruise passengers. As big new vessels continue to pop out of shipyards, cruise lines are looking around the world for new customers to fill their cabins. With European waters nearing a point of capacity, Australia is the next big thing for cruisers."
This is a fairly interesting, in-depth and entertaining story, especially for those planning their first cruise in this part of the world. Among the other key points in the story: "cruising is not new to this part of the world. Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and P&O have based a few ships in and around Sydney, mostly for short, seasonal stays. Vessels on round-the-world voyages annually stop in Australian harbors. What's new is the emphasis on drawing hundreds of thousands of Australians to sea. Their numbers have quadrupled since 2004, but the heavy battle for customers begins this fall, as nearly every North American cruise line is sending a big ship and/or increasing its presence with additional vessels, to establish a toehold." Among the biggest ships headed westward are Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas with 3,840 passengers. New and upgrading this fall is also the shift by Celebrity of their fancier Solstice with 2,850 passengers into this market.
This story notes that ships are adding special food offerings to help make Australian feel at home, including meat pies, bacon, beer and their style of entertainment. Hey, those items could be "fun" for us from the USA, too! The writer hints that there could be more bargains as the added ships and capacity increases competition and offerings.
We are looking forward to our Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Celebrity Solstice sailing, departing Sydney, doing 14 days, finishing in Auckland. The writer notes: "No matter what happens in rate wars, cruising in the South Pacific never will be an inexpensive proposition for North Americans, either in time or money." Yes, we've been concerned on those prices and long flight schedule. The "prize", however, seems to be worth IT from hearing the raves from others who have been there previously.
The story notes: "Australian travel agents are promoting fares on North American ships as low as $100 a day per person for two people, on 2013 cruises booked now. Some of the older ships in Australia are countering with rates as low as $50 a day."
Full story at:
THANKS for the postings on this board and information shared. Keep the good stuff coming! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio
Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 106,897 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at: