Royal Caribbean’s debuts new ships to Australia

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Cruising has become a big deal over the past few years even among Gen Z, with more Aussies hitting the seas than ever before.

To keep up with the demand, Royal Caribbean (RCL) has announced the debut of a new ship — Anthem of the Seas and after five years has brought back Voyager of the Seas with its new homeport of Brisbane, as it prepares for a wild summer season in Australia.

RCL is the world’s biggest cruise brand with 27 ships globally.

“We have many Australian guests who are returning cruisers on Quantum and Ovation, so we’re bringing in new ships to the region as a unique opportunity to provide our guests with fresh itineraries, while of course still being able to provide many of the signature favourites people know and love,” Gavin Smith, managing director for Royal Caribbean AUNZ, told news.com.au.

He said Anthem brings new experiences including the Queen inspired musical, We Will Rock You, and retro themed diner, Johnny Rockets, while Voyager offers guests three storey waterslides, ice-skating and minigolf.

“We’ve had a bumper year in Australia this season which was partially driven by young families as well as millennial and Gen Z passengers who have increasingly taken to cruising,” he said.

“Multi-gen families are also a key guest for Royal Caribbean in Australia driving the demand, as often we see the grandparents booking suites for themselves, and supporting with rooms for the rest of the group, which in turn introduces their younger family members to cruising.”

Mr Smith said cruising is shaking up the holiday industry in Australia as Aussies look for value and ease amid cost-of-living pressures.

“We’re anticipating the next season will bring high levels growth led by younger guests, we’re looking forward to a rise in cruise converts as more Aussies will get a true ‘something for everyone’ holiday experience.”

He said they’re also seeing strong demand from first time cruisers who are “really embracing and understanding the benefits” to this style of holiday.

“On a cruise, all of your needs are met from the moment you step on board. Where else can you visit multiple countries and only unpack once without the need to spend precious holiday time in airports or pay for expensive hotels in peak summer periods?”

But it’s shorter cruise adventures that are currently the most attractive among travellers.

“Guests are taking shorter holidays, but more of them for example a family may take a 7-night holiday to the South Pacific, plus parents also enjoy an adult only wellness weekend with friends,” Mr Smith said.

He said on Anthem, there’s more weekend getaways than ever before so groups of friends can enjoy getting away for a wellness retreat and indulge in “adults only spaces and spa”.

The ship will makes its debut in Australia when it arrives to Sydney in November 2025 with 24 holidays ranging from three to 18 nights across New Zealand, the sunny Australian coast and islands of the South Pacific.

Voyager will sail from Brisbane for the first time from December 2025, with 20 holidays to choose from and a new destination in the line-up – Luganville, Vanuatu.

Sailing is between November 2025 and April 2026.