Carnival Cruises had previously announced that the beloved Carnival Spirit would break from her permanent residency in Australia in 2018 and head north to sail from China during the southern winter months. However, a change of plans has been unveiled - and it's good news for Australian cruisers who consider the fun-loving Spirit one of their own!
The Spirit stays put
The latest program release from Carnival Cruise Line has revealed that the Spirit will remain at her Sydney homeport to take Aussies on holiday throughout all of 2018. The change of plans, we suspect, will be warmly welcomed by Aussie cruisers, many of whom are big fans of the "Fun Ship 2.0" which underwent a makeover in 2015 to appeal even more to the fun-loving Australasian market. Additions of new casual eateries, exciting bars and pubs and a refreshed pool deck have gone down a treat.
The decision to keep the Spirit in Sydney has come as a result of the current success and popularity of the line's operations in Australia - part of a wider trend of increased cruising in the region. Jennifer Vandekreeke, president of Carnival Cruise Line Australia, said that they line has had strong bookings for the coming seasons.
"Australian guests and travel agents have truly embraced the fun of a Carnival cruise," Ms Vandekreeke said. "We recently welcomed our 500,000th guest onboard our local ships and our forward bookings are strong for next winter, so a decision has been made to keep Carnival Spirit in Australia throughout 2018. It's a sensible business move and we think it's one that will be very popular with loyal Australian customers."
Asia cruising continues
If you were looking forward to an Asia cruise with a familiar line, all is not lost. There are plenty of exciting Eastern itineraries on the horizon, with P&O recently returning to Singapore and a booming Singapore season for Royal Caribbean in 2017. Royal Caribbean has also just announced an extension of the current sailings from Singapore, with the Voyager of the Seas remaining until June to complete a total of 64 sailings in the region across three ships.
Those loyal to the Carnival Spirit can also enjoy one of two epic one-way voyages between Sydney and Singapore, as she travels there in May 2018 for a drydock refurbishment. These will include stops in exotic destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia.
Are you planning on taking advantage of the Spirit's continued presence in Australia over the next few years? Take a look at our Carnival cruise deals and you could come across the ideal holiday.