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With major cruise lines continuing to announce their plans for deployment in 2016 and beyond, this week in cruise news saw some big plans for short cruises, as well as major expansions in Australia and the South Pacific.
In Port Canaveral, Carnival Cruise Line will be increasing capacity by 34 percent on three- and four-day Bahamas cruises and launching its newest class of ship on seven-day Caribbean voyages in 2016.
Changes will not only allow for greater travel aboard three- and four-day cruises, but will also provide guests with a greater variety of onboard features and amenities, including over 500 balcony staterooms aboard the Carnival Victory (which will replace the Carnival Sensation for Bahamas sailings starting February 2016).
Princess Cruises will be introducing its largest program ever in 2016-2017 with the Australia deployment program, which features five ships: the Golden Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Dawn Princess, and the new Emerald Princess. The ships will homeport in Australia before embarking on various Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific voyages, along with a range of other sailings, including such highlights as an 84-day Circle South America journey and Land and Sea Vacation packages.
During the new Australia season, clients can choose from 120 cruise options that will sail between October 2016 to April 2017.
Starting in December 2016, the Europa 2 will dock for the first time off the coast of Fiji and New Caledonia. The ship will then sail to New Zealand and Australia, stopping in Auckland, Wellington, Burnie, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Middle and Hamilton Island and Sydney.
Other new ports include Taiwan, Thailand and Cuba (with stops in Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Isla de la Juventud and Havana). A northern route from Greenland to Canada will also operate in August and September 2016, stopping in Nuuk, Sisimiut, Disko Bay, St. John’s, Sanguenay, Quebec and Montreal. Two North American cruises with calls in New York, Boston, Cape Cod, Charleston, Miami, Key West and New Orleans will also set sail in September 2016.
Finally, Royal Caribbean International has announced that its newest upcoming Quantum-class ship, the Ovation of the Seas, will homeport in Sydney for the winter 2016-2017 season.
The cruise ship, which will be joining the Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney and Legend of the Seas in Brisbane, is currently under construction in Germany and, once completed, will be the largest ship to dock in Australia.