The game changer

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

RUISING has taken an­other leap for­ward with the sec­ond of three next-gen­er­a­tion Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional ships launched in Eng­land for voy­ages to the Mediter­ranean and Ca­nary Is­lands and out of New York to the Caribbean.

An­them of the Seas, RCI’s new­est ad­di­tion to its rev­o­lu­tion­ary Quan­tum class of ships, em­barked on its maiden voy­age in April out of Southamp­ton, 128km south­west of Lon­don, de­liv­er­ing on a promised “wow fac­tor”.

This fol­lowed the suc­cess­ful New York launch in Novem­ber of Quan­tum of the Seas, the first new ship for RCI since it launched Al­lure of the Seas in 2010.

The An­them launch comes on the heels of RCI’s an­nounce­ment that the third ship in the Quan­tum class, Ova­tion of the Seas, will be based in Syd­ney for the 2016-17 south­ern sum­mer cruise sea­son. The $US1 bil­lion ($A1.3 bil­lion) Ova­tion is now un­der con­struc­tion in Ger­many and will be the first new ship to home-port in Australia, re­flect­ing the im­por­tance of the ex­pand­ing Aus­tralasian mar­ket.

Syd­ney-based Royal Caribbean Asia Pa­cific vi­cepres­i­dent Gavin Smith, who joined An­them in Southamp­ton for a gala nam­ing cer­e­mony com­plete with a Scot­tish pipe band and Welsh boys’ choir, says the Quan­tum-class ships “com­pletely re­de­fine the idea of cruis­ing”. Ova­tion demon­strates a be­lief in the Aus­tralian cruis­ing mar­ket, he said. “We be­lieve that Aus­tralians shouldn’t need to travel over­seas to ex­pe­ri­ence the kind of cruise hol­i­day we stand for; the most in­no­va­tive

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