More luxury ships heading to Australia
The luxury cruise sector is booming with more upmarket ships heading to Australia in 2018. Cruise Passenger compares three lines competing for Australia’s luxury dollars.
Australians looking for small-ship luxury cruises will be spoilt for choice in 2018 as lines bring more vessels to Sydney. But cruisers had better be quick. According to Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Australians are booking cabins so far out that the line is set to release itineraries for 2020.
Lisa Pile, Regent’s vice president sales Australia/New Zealand, said 2019 will be a “bonzer year”, with passengers forward booking the best suites in record numbers. The average Australian cruise is for 12 days at $20,000 per suite.
The Australian boom in luxury cruising has attracted some of the best-known names – with three visiting Sydney earlier this year to showcase their ships.
Newest entrant Viking Ocean Cruises brought in Viking Sun, promising new-build Viking Orion will be here for three months from December, and even longer in 2019. While the line’s small ships don’t claim a luxury label, they are certainly above premium. One particular hot seller for Australia has been a 22-night journey from Japan to Canada. The trip next year will be 50 per cent Aussie – a company record for Viking.
The freshly refurbished Seven Seas Navigator also visited – one of several Regent Seven Seas sailings in Australia that has increased the line’s presence by 30 per cent.
Oceania Cruises berthed Regatta, and revealed Australia has become the line’s second most important market. Regatta will spend 56 days in Australia and New Zealand, returning for an even bigger season from November 2018 to March 2019.
So who should you choose? And what do you get for your money? Here’s our verdict.