Royal Caribbean Is Headed Back to Australia — and You Can Start Booking Today
Royal Caribbean has announced a slew of Australian cruises for 2023 and 2024 a week after the country said it would lift its ban on cruise ships.
The cruise line will sail out of Brisbane and Sydney, embarking on everything from two-night getaways to 19-night voyages, according to Royal Caribbean. The Australia cruises, which will start in October 2023, will sail on the Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, and — for the first time — on the Enchantment of the Seas.
"It's thrilling to welcome back two Quantum Class ships Down Under, demonstrating Royal Caribbean's commitment to the region. Plus… we've taken the opportunity to bring Enchantment of the Seas to Australia to offer unique sailings that visit new destinations we know our guests are excited to explore," Gavin Smith, the managing director of Australia and New Zealand for Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement. "We look forward to even more guests, their loved ones, and families creating memories while holidaying with us in several of the most spectacular places on earth."
Sail along Queensland's coast, including a trip to Cairns, which is a jumping-off point for the Great Barrier Reef. Or use Sydney as your base to explore New Zealand's coastline, Hobart, Adelaide, or the stunning South Pacific islands.
Those who board the Enchantment's inaugural season in Australia can visit Kangaroo Island, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu, or plan to celebrate Christmas at sea with an 11-night South Pacific and Fiji Christmas cruise.
Travelers can book a Royal Caribbean Australia cruise starting Wednesday and will receive half-price deposits if they book before April 5.
Australia dropped its ban on cruise ships last week, allowing it to end when it expires on April 17, according to the government. Before the pandemic in 2019, Australia welcomed more than 600,000 cruise ship passengers.
"On the basis of medical advice and with the agreement of National Cabinet, lifting the cruise ban is consistent with the reopening of Australia's international border and shows that we have successfully navigated Australia's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said in a statement.
The decision also comes weeks after Australia opened its borders to vaccinated international tourists.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.