The ongoing popularity and success of Carnival Spirit‘s year-round home porting in Sydney has seen Carnival Cruise Line take an about face on its original plan of sending the ship to spend the Australian off-season (winter) in China in 2018.
As reported earlier this year, Carnival was planning on redeploying the 2,124-passenger ship to Shanghai for a short period following the vessel’s next regularly scheduled maintenance in Singapore, set to take place at the end of autumn. Today’s announcement cited capacity needs as one of the major reasons that the ship will now instead head straight back to Sydney after her routine upgrade on a return 19-night cruise, leaving Singapore on 06 June.
This voyage will feature calls in Thailand and Indonesia before re-entering Australian territory in Darwin. It will also see Carnival Cruise Line make its maiden call in Gladstone as part of its journey down the Queensland coast. Fares for the repositioning voyage start from $2,449 per person twin share.
The decision headlined the unveiling of Carnival Spirit‘s 2018 schedule, which will include 35 itineraries to and from Australia between April and December, ranging in length from 7-12 days. The winter season will offer round-trip cruises to Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. Three and four-night voyages to Queensland destinations such as Moreton Island, off the coast of Brisbane, will also take place.
Carnival Spirit will also make its fifth journey to the Melbourne Cup in November 2018, with fares for this themed cruise priced from $1,069 per person quad share.
Sister vessel Carnival Legend will continue to spend the peak summer in Australia, with October 2018 marking her fifth consecutive season based in Sydney & Melbourne. Highlights of this season will include three voyages from the Victorian capital, including a 10-night round-trip to New Zealand, three-night sampler and four-night cruise to Sydney via Hobart.
Carnival Spirit‘s 35 off-peak winter sailings in 2018 will go on sale from 04 November, 2016.