New RCL head eyes ca­pac­ity chal­lenge

Cruise Weekly - - News -

THE newly ap­pointed Royal Caribbean Cruises vice pres­i­dent and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Aus­tralia and New Zealand, Su­san Bon­ner, main­tains port de­vel­op­ment will be the big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing the brand over the next 12 months.

Bon­ner for­mally as­sumed the role from Adam Arm­strong late last month ( CW 28 Jun) and is now re­spon­si­ble for spear­head­ing the Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional, Celebrity Cruises and Aza­mara Club Cruises brands in the lo­cal mar­ket.

“We are very well aware of the ca­pac­ity con­straints in Syd­ney and con­tinue to bring these to the at­ten­tion of all stake­hold­ers, par­tic­u­larly the NSW and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments,” Bon­ner said.

“The cruise in­dus­try needs a new ter­mi­nal east of the Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge as soon as pos­si­ble…our sup­port for Port Botany as an op­tion is prag­matic, we be­lieve a so­lu­tion there is pos­si­ble but we are pro­vid­ing in­put into the gov­ern­ment’s con­sid­er­a­tion of both op­tions,” she added.

Out­side of Syd­ney, Bon­ner says other ports in the APAC re­gion will need to adopt a proac­tive ap­proach to the cruis­ing sec­tor.

“We work closely with com­mu­ni­ties around Aus­tralia and New Zealand to ‘fu­ture­proof’ ports,” Bon­ner said.

“Port and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment is go­ing to be vi­tal to meet­ing de­mand and al­low­ing com­mu­ni­ties to ben­e­fit from cruis­ing’s eco­nomic in­jec­tions.”

De­spite any ex­ter­nal growth con­straints, Bon­ner is con­fi­dent the next 12 months at RCL will be fruit­ful in Aus­tralia.

“Sol­stice will re­turn for its sev­enth Aus­tralian cruise sea­son, of­fer­ing four brand new South Pa­cific des­ti­na­tions in Tonga, Samoa and Amer­i­can Samoa... and Royal Caribbean is gear­ing up for the bil­lion-dol­lar Ova­tion of the Seas’ ( pic­tured) long­est ever sea­son down un­der,” Bon­ner said.

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