Ovation of the Seas – the last of Royal Caribbean's three 167,800-ton, 4180-passenger next-generation cruise ships – has finally opened bookings for it maiden season in Australia and New Zealand, following months of anticipation and speculation about its itineraries.
The third vessel in Royal Caribbean International’s ground-breaking Quantum Class, following Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, the cruise ship will be the largest to ever call Australia home. Currently under construction in Germany, the US$1 billion vessel represents the single largest investment in Australia and New Zealand by any cruise line – but it’s the ship’s on-board offerings that really have cruise enthusiasts excited.
Bumper Cars and Robot Bartenders
Sean Treacy, commercial director for Royal Caribbean International, Australia & South East Asia, says the Ovation of the Seas “truly ignites the imagination about what is possible on a cruise holiday – from skydiving in the middle of the ocean, robot bartenders, to North Star, an observation capsule that transports you more than 90 metres above the sea providing stunning 360-degree views.”
Additional on-board features include bumper cars, a circus school, high-tech shows in the Two70 entertainment venue, Broadway shows, the highest speed internet at sea, and 18 dining options such as Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, Michael's Genuine Pub, Wonderland, and Royal Caribbean favourites Chops Grille steakhouse and Izumi Japanese.
You’ll Have to Be Quick
The first of Royal Caribbean’s newly built ships to be deployed down under, more than 20,000 people pre-registered their interest in the 30,000 spots up for grabs on Ovation of the Seas’ local summer cruises, so cabins are expected to sell quickly.
The four 2016/17 sailings from Sydney include:
15-night New Zealand Cruise
Starting with an overnight stay in Sydney on 15 December 2016, followed by calls at Hobart, the Milford Sound region, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton, Tauranga and Auckland
10-night New Zealand New Year Voyage
Departing 30 December 2016, with calls in the Milford Sound region, Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and Picton
14-night NZ Cruise
Departing 9 January 2017 (in the middle of school holidays) and stopping at Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, Picton, Dunedin, and Milford Sounds
14-night Asia Repositioning Voyage
Sailing Sydney to Singapore and departing 23 January 2017, visiting Brisbane, Darwin and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang)
The Australia to New Zealand itineraries confirm Ovation will indeed visit Auckland, though it is currently unclear if she will be able to dock at the city's terminal, or if passengers will need to be ferried ashore.