Royal Caribbean has announced an itinerary adjustment for a March 2025 sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas from Brisbane, Australia.
This alteration may have important implications for passengers, particularly those who are full-time mobility scooters or wheelchair users, as the new destination is a tender-only port.
With only two ports during the seven-day cruise, the change in itinerary will come as a disappointment for guests who have already booked the cruise. However, its replacement, Port Vila, is another possible highlight.
Impact on Mobility-Impaired Guests
Instead of sailing to Noumea, New Caledonia, the Quantum-class cruise ship will now call to Port Vila, Vanuatu. While the first would have been a port where the ship docks, the new port would be tender-only.
The shift to a tender-only port will mean that guests who cannot board tenders will, unfortunately, have to remain on the ship for the entirety of the seven-day cruise. Royal Caribbean urges those affected by these changes to contact them with any concerns.
In a letter sent to guests on July 13, 2023, the cruise line offered the following explanation for the change: “Due to a berthing conflict in Noumea, New Caledonia, we will now visit Port Vila, Vanuatu instead. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. Nevertheless, we are excited to take you to a new destination!”
The letter continues by stating that those who are mobility impaired will not be able to go ashore if they cannot board the tenders:
“All guests will be tendered to shore in Mystery Island and Port Vila. Unfortunately, tenders are not accessible to those who are full-time mobility or wheelchair users. Guests who cannot take a few steps on stairs or walk across from the tender platform to and from the tender may be unable to go ashore.”
In Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, guests can look forward to engaging with Bislama-speaking locals and exploring bustling street-side markets. The city carries a distinctive French influence, with bistros and murals hinting at its colonial past.
Quantum of the Seas Itineraries
The 168,666 gross tons, 4,180-guest Quantum of the Seas, will reposition to Australia in 2024 following a season in Alaska. Unfortunately, the repositioning cruise between Hawaii and Singapore appears to be unavailable for guests to book, likely due to the ship entering dry dock for maintenance in Singapore.
However, a 12-night cruise is available for those interested in sailing from Singapore to Brisbane. This voyage departs on November 19, 2024, and includes stops at Lombok, Indonesia; Darwin, Australia; Yorkeys Knob, Australia; Airlie Beach, Australia; and finally arrives in Brisbane, Australia, on December 1, 2024.
Upon her arrival in Brisbane, Quantum of the Seas will embark on a series of Queensland cruises lasting five and six nights, seven-night South Pacific cruises, and a New Zealand cruise departing on March 14, 2025.
The comprehensive 14-night cruise to New Zealand will call to the Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and the Fiordland National Park in New Zealand.
This cruise sails before the seven-night cruise with the changed call. This means those planning a back-to-back cruise should remember the changed itinerary from the following cruise on March 28.