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The Royal Caribbean megaship will stay a while

The good news for Australian cruisers just keeps coming. The Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's new giant Quantum-Class ship, has long been scheduled to make a debut season Down Under in late 2016, and we have been looking forward with anticipation to Australia's biggest resident cruise vessel yet.

Maiden season extended
Original plans were for the Ovation of the Seas to offer three round-trip cruises to New Zealand from Sydney, along with a repositioning cruise. However, Royal Caribbean has just announced an extension of the vessel's time homeported in Australia, including an extra four itineraries so more Aussie cruise lovers can get onboard.

The four new itineraries, available now, are as follows:

  • A 5-night Tasmania Cruise from Sydney departing the 23rd of January 2017, perfect for those who want to get a taster of what it's like to be onboard such a huge ship.
  • A 12-night South Pacific and New Zealand Cruise, taking in a great range of ports after sailing from Sydney on the 28th of January 2017.
  • An 8-night Tasmania and Southern Australia Cruise adventure, departing from Sydney on the 9th of February 2017.
  • A 3-night Sampler Cruise from Sydney on the 17th of February 2017 which will fit into any busy schedule - the ship is the only destination for this one!
The 14-night "Reef and Jungles" repositioning cruise will now take place from the 20th of February 2017, heading from Sydney to Singapore and stopping at Darwin and Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur).

Adam Armstrong, managing director for Royal Caribbean Australasia, said of the new cruises: "The level of interest for Ovation of the Seas has exceeded all of our expectations; we're currently over 90 per cent sold for next summer's sailings. She is a true game-changer and such was the high demand for the ship that we've been able to secure four extra cruises from Sydney, which will extend the season into late February 2017."

Second summer season
Not only is Australia getting this state of the art mega ship for an extended season this coming summer, she will be back. Royal Caribbean also announced that the ship is set to return in the summer of 2017/2018 thanks to the great response by Australians.

The details of itineraries for that season will also be released later on in April, so keep an eye out on the blog and the Ovation of the Seas cruise sale page to book a cabin.

More cruises and options for Australasia
Both of these announcements signify a huge increase in passenger capacity for Australasia - the Ovation of the Seas carries 5,000 guests over her 348 metres of length and 16 decks. Royal Caribbean is demonstrating a major commitment to the region, as well as providing Aussie cruisers with their first opportunity to sail locally on a new-build ship.

The Ovation of the Seas also boasts innovative new entertainment, activity and dining options.

  • The North Star viewing pod which soars high above the decks

  • Ripcord by iFly, a skydiving simulator

  • SeaPlex multi-use sports and entertainment venue with bumper cars

  • Two70 multimedia entertainment venue

  • Bionic Bar with robotic cocktail makers

  • 18 unique restaurants including Jamie's Italian

North Star

Repositioning cruise cancelled
There is one hiccup in the updated plans, and that is the cancellation of the Ovation's original repositioning cruise from Sydney to Singapore which was scheduled to depart on the 23rd of January 2017. This has been pushed back to allow for the new itineraries. It will now depart on the 20th of February 2017.

Passengers booked on this cruise have several options. They can switch to the new repositioning cruise or another of the cruises which have been added to the schedule, which will not be made available for general sale until all displaced customers have been accommodated. They can also cancel for a refund. If you have a booking for this cruise with Cruise Sale Finder, you should have been contacted to discuss your options.

Looking forward to a cruise on this mammoth and innovative ship? Keep an eye on Cruise Sale Finder for the new itineraries later this month.

Written By: Sarah Glover, Content Editor of Cruise Sale Finder

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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