Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Makes Sydney Debut

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Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas has recently debuted in Sydney, kicking off a busy six-month summer season — along with many other cruise operators — Down Under just as summer holidays in the Southern Hemisphere are heating up.

Brilliance of the Seas in Australia and New Zealand

On October 22, 2023, the 90,090-gross-ton Brilliance of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International, made its debut port call in Sydney, Australia. 

The ship is currently slated for a very active sailing season in the region, as are other ships that have relocated to this part of the globe, such as Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, which made her maiden call in New Zealand on October 19, 2023.

Brilliance of the Seas will now embark on a six-month cruising season in the waters of Australia and New Zealand. The ship, which began sailing in 2002 and was refurbished in 2018, will offer its guests a variety of regional cruises, running from 5 to 18 nights. 

“The start of Royal Caribbean’s Australian biggest summer season is officially here with the arrival of the intimate and unforgettable Brilliance of the Seas in Sydney,” said Gavin Smith, Royal Caribbean International’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Iconic Sydney, Australia
Iconic Sydney, Australia (Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock)

In total, travelers will be able to select from 20 immersive routes aboard the Radiance-class ship. Available itineraries encompass culturally diverse destinations in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, including popular vacation spots like Fiji, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, Port Douglas, Vanuatu, and more.

“With such destination-rich holidays as well as the variety of dining, entertainment, ways to relax and more on board, Brilliance is a spectacular new way to explore top destinations in style … we look forward to a bumper season packed with three ships [Brilliance of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas] delivering the best family holiday experiences from Australia,” Smith added.

Vacationers will also be able to enjoy more extensive 16- and 18-night voyages along Australia’s West Coast, and the country’s “Top End,” which refers to the northernmost region, the Northern Territory, where you’ll find the city of Darwin, the regional capital.

Brilliance of the Seas will also cruise around New Zealand Sounds, deep fjords located along the South Island. These spectacular landscapes are carved out by glaciers, featuring cliffs, rainforests, and waterfalls — which make for spectacular viewing from the decks of cruise ships or private balconies.

Brilliance of the Seas Balcony
Brilliance of the Seas Balcony (Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

For anyone who simply can’t get enough of all of this rich culture and picturesque scenery, Royal Caribbean International’s cruise guests can also merge their expeditions into a remarkable 34-night odyssey exploring both Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s 2023 Summer Sailing Season

During Australia’s summer season (fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere), cruise lines tend to wrap up their Alaskan-based sailing operations — or seasons in other locales, like the Mediterranean — and send some of their ships to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

In addition to Brilliance of the Seas’ debut in Australia, Royal Caribbean’s 168,666-gross-ton Quantum of the Seas, which debuted in Queensland in 2022, will return to the region on October 28, 2023. Quantum of the Seas will offer 3- to 9-night getaways from Brisbane to the Queensland coast, plus many of the scenic islands dotted around the South Pacific.

Ovation of the Seas in Australia
Ovation of the Seas in Australia (Photo Credit: myphotobank.com.au / Shutterstock)

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas (also 168,666 gross tons) will visit the region for its seventh season, sailing out of Sydney from November 3, 2023. Itineraries will range from 3- to 12-night trips along Australia’s East Coast, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

Other cruise operators in the region include Princess Cruises; Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder, departing from Sydney in early November 2023; and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa, setting sail respectively from Sydney and Brisbane. 

Many other cruise companies make this part of the world their home during the summer sailing season in the southern hemisphere, which is why you’ll never lack cruise ship options when visiting Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific this time of year.

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