World’s biggest cruise ship coming to Australia, says Royal Caribbean
EXCLUSIVE: Royal Caribbean confirms plans to bring Wonder of the Seas to Australia, but when?
Major cruising operator Royal Caribbean has confirmed plans to bring the world's biggest cruise ship, the 362m-long 236,857-tonne Wonder of the Seas, to Australia.
"It's certainly in our planning, and certainly what we're working with the government on," Royal Caribbean vice president Gavin Smith told Finder in an exclusive interview.
"We're on Wonder of the Seas in Spain right now, which should have gone to China. Then from China to Australia." That original plan to introduce Royal Caribbean's "Oasis Class" to Australian waters was scuttled due to delays in relaunching cruising in Australia after the pandemic.
Is Wonder of the Seas coming to Australia?
"We are hopeful," Smith said. "I think if not for the pandemic, we'd be closer than we probably are today."
Royal Caribbean has already started selling its 2022, 2023 and 2024 Australian cruises, all on Quantum Class ships such as the Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas. That pinpoints summer 2024/2025 as the next window where we might see an Oasis Class ship in Australia.
While Royal Caribbean hasn't yet set a firm launch date, the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal is the likely departure port.
"The new Brisbane terminal is capable of that size ship," Smith noted.
What is the biggest cruise ship in Australia?
The biggest ship which currently travels from Australia is another Royal Caribbean ship, Quantum of the Seas (347m and 168,666T). It is one of 2 "Quantum Class" vessels Royal Caribbean has already scheduled to depart from Australia this summer, after the cruise ship ban was lifted earlier this year.
Ovation of the Seas will be departing from Sydney on 29 October 2022, while Quantum of the Seas will head out from Brisbane's new facility on 1 November 2022.
I've sailed on both Quantum Class and Oasis Class and really enjoyed the experience.
Check out the video above for more on the difference between Royal Caribbean's Quantum and Oasis classes.
With the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in play, it'll be interesting to see if other big ships head to Australia. Will P&O bring the Iona (344.5m and 184,089T), Carnival the Mardi Gras (344m and 181,808T) or MSC the Grandiosa (331.43m and 181.541T) to Australia?
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