Carnival Cruise Line Officially Restarts Operations in Australia

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Carnival Splendor has set sail from Sydney, officially restarting the cruise line’s operations in Australia and bringing fun to eager travelers who have waited more than two years for a return to cruising.

This momentous restart is just the beginning for Carnival cruises in Australia, with the newly-rebranded Carnival Luminosa already beginning her journey to her new homeport in Brisbane, where she will begin offering cruises in November.

Carnival Cruises Set Sail From Sydney

The Concordia-class Carnival Splendor was welcomed into Sydney Harbor with great fanfare on September 30, 2022, ready to begin her first Down Under sailings since she left the market during the pandemic lockdown.

The special occasion, which was the conclusion of the vessel’s 23-night transpacific repositioning cruise from Alaska, is the first time a cruise ship has arrived in Australia with international passengers since early 2020.

As she was ready to set sail on Saturday, October 1, the cruise line had a special ribbon cutting to welcome guests back onboard, and other festivities, including live music, special desserts, and more were part of the very happy embarkation day.

Carnival Splendor Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

“Today’s festivities are just a taste of what’s to come for Australia,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We have been planning this return for some time, and we are elated now to see guests back on board, ready to have fun and take in the beauty that Australia has to offer.”

Also joining in the ribbon-cutting were two Sydney locals and avid cruisers, Joe and Van Huddleston. The Huddleston’s were the first guests back on board and are celebrating a milestone of their own: their 80th Carnival cruise.

The ship departed Sydney that evening on a 4-night roundtrip sailing, with two days at sea and a visit to Moreton Island in Queensland on the itinerary. Carnival Splendor will return to Sydney on Wednesday, October 5.

Carnival Splendor Welcomes Guests
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The 113,300-gross-ton vessel will now offer several different itineraries for guests to enjoy, ranging from 3-11 nights and visiting a variety of exciting ports of call in Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, and more, depending on the sailing date and exact itinerary.

Carnival Splendor, which entered the Fun Ship fleet in 2008, can host as many as 3,012 guests at double occupancy, and up to 3,948 passengers when fully booked. Sydney is the ship’s designated year-round homeport at least through mid-2024.

Carnival Luminosa to Arrive in November

The fun doesn’t stop with just Carnival Splendor, with the newest ship to join the fleet – the rebranded and reimagined Carnival Luminosa – scheduled to set sail from Brisbane on Sunday, November 6.

The hybrid Spirit-Vista-class Carnival Luminosa, formerly Costa Luminosa, recently completed a significant dry dock, which involved upgrading spaces to popular Carnival favorites and adding the fleet’s new livery to the ship’s hull and funnel.

Carnival Luminosa is now en route to Dubai, where additional crew members will join the ship before she sets sail toward Australia.

Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

“As we welcome the arrival of our newest ship, Carnival Luminosa to Brisbane next month, we’re looking forward to even more fun in Australia,” said Duffy.

Undoubtedly, the new ship will enjoy similar festivities when she arrives in Australia, as well as when the first guests embark. Carnival Luminosa will offer similar 3-11 night itineraries in Australia, New Zealand, and other South Pacific destinations.

While it is a welcome step forward that the region is once again opening to cruise travel, guests booked aboard either Carnival Splendor or Carnival Luminosa should be prepared for possible itinerary changes as certain destinations in the region may yet remain closed for cruise ships.

As happened worldwide as different ports of call cautiously began to welcome cruise guests once again, changes could happen at the last minute, and sailing protocols may change as different destinations adjust their requirements.

Guests booked on upcoming sailings should stay in close contact with Carnival Cruise line for updates about itinerary changes and updated requirements, no matter where in the world they plan to set sail.

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