Royal Caribbean Returns to Australia in Winter 2008-09
Royal Caribbean International will operate 14 Australia cruises and two transpacific voyages aboard Rhapsody of the Seas for winter 2008-09. The cruises range from seven to 15 nights. Five roundtrip voyages from Sydney to the Coral Sea will visit New Caledonia, Vanuatu Islands, and Society Islands. A 13-night itinerary, departing Oct. 19, 2008, includes calls at Noumea, Poum, and the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia; Luganville and Vila, Vanuatu; and Ouvea (Wadrilla) and Lifou in the Loyalty Islands. A 10-night itinerary, departing Nov. 1, Nov. 22 and Dec. 13, 2008, includes calls in New Caledonia and at Vila, while an 11-night sailing on April 2, 2009, includes Luganville. Rhapsody also will offer two Great Barrier Reef adventures departing Nov. 11 and Dec. 2, 2008.
The 11-night roundtrips from Sydney will cruise by Willis Island and call at Cairns (Yorkey's Knob), Port Douglas, Cooktown, Brisbane, and Hamilton Island (among the Whitsunday Islands) in Australia. Additionally, a seven-night Tasmania voyage departing on Jan. 6, 2009, will sail roundtrip from Sydney, and visit Burnie, Port Arthur and Hobart in Tasmania; and Melbourne. The company is also offering four 14-night New Zealand cruises sailing roundtrip from Sydney. These cruises will visit Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, as well as cruise through Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds in Fjordland National Park. On voyages departing Dec. 23, 2008, and Jan. 27, 2009, guests will also visit Napier, while the Jan. 13 and Feb. 10, 2009, sailings will include a scenic cruise past volcanic White Island. Two cruises can be combined for a 35-night "Down Under" exploration cruise. On the 17-night voyage, sailing on Feb. 24, 2009, from Sydney, guests cruise the Coral Sea to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and sail to cities along the northern Australian coast to Perth (Fremantle). The following 18-night voyage, sailing March 13 from Perth to Sydney, calls at cities on the southern Australian coast and the Island of Tasmania, and cruise the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and its fjordlands.
The Rhapsody offers two segments on its eastward transpacific crossing. The 16-night cruise departs Sydney on April 13 and sails to Honolulu, on the way calling at ports in the Society Islands and Maui. The following 10-night sailing, departing April 28, will cruise five days among the Hawaiian Islands before continuing on to Vancouver. Royal Caribbean also offers land tours that can be combined with a cruise. Cruise-tours include hotel stays, transfers, most meals, and scheduled tours and activities. On most sailings, guests can choose a five-night pre-cruise tour to Sydney, Ayers Rock, Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef. For sailings departing Nov. 11, Dec. 2, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2009, guests can choose a six-night pre-cruise New Zealand from Auckland, visiting a sheep farm and a Rotorua winery, cruising through the fjords of Milford Sound, and flying to Sydney before boarding Rhapsody.