Sun Princess

3 cruise ships and a dull day


Just come back from a photo trip to catch the Sun Princess, Diamond Princess and the Pacific Jewel in Sydney Harbour – or Sun Princess as it was leaving. But today Sydney turned on a grey, humid type drizzle and it really wasn’t worth it. So I’ve dropped in a picture of the deck of Sun Princess taken last time I was onboard.
28 ships in 28 days was the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald today – yes folks this is the beginning of a really busy time on Sydney Harbour as cruise ships come and go bringing thousands of tourists to our beautiful harbour. Most ships will dock at the International Cruise Terminal or Darling Harbour, but a few will be forced to use White Bay. This is a bit of hole – it has no facilities for cruise passengers and they are crowded onto buses and taken to Central Station – not much of a way to discover Sydney. When the ships don’t fit under the bridge they must moor in the harbour which is a better experience as passengers are taken by boat into Sydney.
Given that our Government doesn’t seem to understand the importance of providing decent, central facilities for cruise passengers I am not holding my breath on a solution to this problem.

Fewer ships, cooler mornings

As the days grow cooler and shorter, fewer ships will enter our harbours. Despite what my mobile said this morning, daylight saving has not finished and I am now taking my early morning walk round the harbour foreshores just after sunrise. (Daylight saving will end on Sunday 5th April).
Here is the Celebrity Millenium when she was moored in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Today you will find the her docked at the International Terminal. She is due in Melbourne on 31st March, from there she will sail to Hobart, arriving on 3rd April.
Rhapsody of the Seas will arrive in Sydney on 31st March and stay until 2nd April and the Sun Princess will sail into Darling Harbour on 2nd April, leaving the same day.
Sun Princess is in Hobart overnight – and that will be the last cruise ship in our southern most port until the Spring. Melbourne will also not see any more cruise ships until the warm weather returns.
Next summer we will see more ships in our harbours than ever. And new ships are being built just for our waters. Carnival Australia announced last week that the Pacific Pearl will arrive in Australian waters and be based in Sydney from the end of 2010 and Pacific Sun will be based in Newcastle around about the same time.

A few more ships in port

This week you will spot the following ships in your port…

Wednesday 18 March
Millenium is in Sydney Harbour for the day – she’s pictured here when she visited at the end of February
Rhapsody of the Seas visits Adelaide for the day
C Colombus is in Devonport, Tasmania just for the day
Diamond Princess in Hobart Tasmania, leaving same day

Thursday 19 March
Volendam will visit Sydney and stay overnight
Rhapsody of the Seas is in Melbourne for the day

Friday 20th March
Pacific Dawn arrives in Sydney and leaves same day
Sun Princess visits Fremantle and leaves the next day
Rhapsody of the Seas is in Adelaide for the day

Saturday 21st March
Pacific Sun visits Brisbane for the day
Volendam arrives in Melbourne and leaves the same day

Monday 22nd March
Melbourne will welcome Rhapsody of the Seas for the day

Tuesday 23rd March
Royal Princess arrives in Burnie, Tasmania and leaving same day
Volendam is in Adelaide, leaving the same day

More and more Aussies are taking cruises and the most popular cruises are those in our home waters – Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific – then Asia. The big attraction of cruising is the inclusion of accommodation, meals, transport, entertainment and, in many cruises some great extras, all in the one price. And for many getting on and/or off in the home port is another plus – as is only unpacking once. If you fancy cruising – or think you might – we can suggest a cruise that will suit your budget and your time-frame – there are so many to choose from. There are also many different types of cruise ships – so if you would rather travel with people of your own age, on a big ship, or a small exploration vessel, we can find the right one for you.
Drop me an email anytime – martin@travelchoice.com.au

Cruise ships keep on coming


Sorry – I missed a few days on the blog. I hope you weren’t planning to go ship spotting in your harbour. This the list for this week – there’s is barely time to draw breath as the cruise ships come and go at the height of our season.
If seeing these ships inspires you to cruise, we can handle last-minute bookings for this year, or take early bookings for 2010. You could be arriving in Sydney March 8, 2010 aboard Queen Mary* 2 after a relaxing 23-night sailing from Hong Kong to Sydney for $5,500 – or arriving aboard Queen Victoria – 23 nights from San Francisco – for $4,330.00
*(See below for traveller’s impressions).

16th February

  • Oriana sailing into the International Cruise Terminal in Sydney and departing again

17th February

  • C. Columbus making an entrance into Melbourne, leaving same day
  • Tahitian Princess sails into Burnie Tasmania and leaves same day
  • Queen Victoria sails into Hobart and sails again
  • Seven Seas Voyager will dock in Adelaide for the day

18th February

  • Amadea arrives in Sydney and leaves next day
  • Oriana arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Black Watch also docks in Brisbane and leaves the next day
  • Arcadia arrives in Melbourne and leaves again
  • Sun Princess also sails into Melbourne leaving same day
  • Diamond Princess sails into Hobart
  • C. Columbus visits Devonport in Tasmania

19th February

  • Queen Victoria will dock at the International Terminal in Sydney overnight
  • Tahitian Princess will make her inaugural visit to Sydney and leave again
  • Amadea will move to White Bay so the other two liners can dock and not moor in the Harbour.
  • Rotterdam visits Fremantle overnight (see new slide show on right, taken when I was on board the Rotterdam in Sydney last week)

20th February

  • Arcadia arrives in Sydney and stays overnight
  • Pacific Dawn also arrives in Darling Harbour for the day
  • Diamond Princess sails into Melbourne and sails out that night
  • C. Columbus returns to Hobart for the day

21 February

  • Black Watch arrives in Sydney, staying for 2 nights
  • Pacific Sun arrives in Brisbane sailing same day
  • Tahitian Princess will also dock in Brisbane and leave that day
  • Seven Seas Voyager sails into Fremantle for the day

22 February

  • Dawn Princess sails into Sydney departing same day
  • Diamond Princess will arrive and depart Sydney this day too

If you’d like to know more about any of these ships and their schedules drop me an email – martin@travelchoice.com.au

Comings and goings in Australian ports


We’re into the peak of the cruise season, so there’s plenty for the cruise ‘spotter’ to see. Our picture is the deck of the Sun Princess when she was in Sydney Harbour in 2007.
3rd February
Nautica and Celebrity Millenium sailed into Melbourne in the morning and Nautica sailed out again in the afternoon, Celebrity Millenium leaves on 4th.
Dawn Princess docked at Port Arthur in Tasmania and leaves on 4th.

4th February
Asuka 11 docks at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal for the day – then moves round to Wharf 8 Darling Harbour for another day before leaving on 5th February. Asuka 11 is a Japanese ship and was originally the Crystal Harmony. The cabins are luxurious and there are live fish tanks for A1 sushi!
Volendam will visit Melbourne for the day. While the Volendam was in Sydney on the 2nd February, Biba, our senior cruise consultant, did a tour. “The main restaurant was very impressive,” she said ” it takes 750 guests at a time but even so it felt very intimate and ‘royal’. It was easy to talk to other people at our table of 6.” And she rated the food highly. “The most outstanding feature of the cabins was the tiled heated chairs in the spa room – they had superb views. Overall,”she said “the ship had a warm homely feeling – and for a ship that carries about 1450 passengers… it feels smaller really.”

5th February
Paul Gauguin arrives in Brisbane and stays for just 4 hours
Nautica sails into Sydney and leaves next day at 2200 hours
Volendam sails into Burnie in Tasmania, and departs same day
Athena arrives in Adelaide and sails the following day

6th February
Pacific Dawn will return to Sydney Harbour and depart again for the South Pacific
Sun Princess will arrive in Melbourne and depart again
Celebrity Millenium visits Hobart for the day
Dawn Princess will visit Burnie in Tasmania

7th February
Pacific Sun will sail into Brisbane leaving again same day
Dawn Princess arrives in Melbourne for the day

8th February
Nautica will visit Brisbane for the day.
Want to know more about the sailings of these ships – any others? Send me an email to martin@travelchoice.com.au

Ships coming and going


Bit quieter this week in the ports of Australia – they’re all at sea! It’s not until 24th that the first ship returns. Though the little known Black Prince will leave Adelaide on 23rd.
Our picture shows Pacific Dawn leaving Sydney last week – she’ll be back on 28th.
24th January
Pacific Venus will leave Darwin having arrived the day before
Pacific Sun will arrive in Brisbane and leave same day
Sun Princess will arrive in Melbourne and leave the same day
Athena will arrive in Fremantle and leave the same day
25th January
Diamond Princess will arrive in Hobart and depart same day.
27th January
Diamond Princess sails into Melbourne leaving again at 5.
Athena comes back to Fremantle and leaves again
Rhapsody of the Seas will arrive in Sydney and depart the following day
Bookmark this blog to keep up to date with ships around Oz – or contact me – martin@travelchoice.com.au if you have a specific inquiry.


Cruise ships in town

It’s a busy time of year. If you are new to cruising or a cruise ship ‘spotter’ you will have plenty to look out for. I’ll try to keep you up to date with their comings and goings but if there is something you would like to know about a ship – or a cruise please email me. martin@travelchoice.com.au

Here is a cruise calendar for the next few days.
On Thursday 18 December

Dawn Princess arrives in Sydney,
Silver Whisper arrives in Brisbane,
Sun Princess arrives in Melbourne

On Saturday 20th
Silver Whisper arrives in Sydney
Pacific Sun arrives in Brisbane
Athena arrives in Fremantle.

Sun Princess arrives in Sydney 13 December

Sun Princess carries 1950 passengers and is one of the Princess ships that sails out of Australian ports all year round. Her itineraries include circumnavigations of Australia and all areas of the South Pacific. Her identical sister ship Dawn Princess even offers a 104-night World Cruise from Sydney and return, departing in July 2009 . For enquiries or bookings just email martin@travelchoice.com.au .
Sun Princess statistics
See the picture gallery… for some inside info and for those who like statistics she has:
* 14 decks
* 261 metres in length
* 77,000 gross tonnes
* Entered Service in 1995
* Max Speed: 21 knots
* Four-storey atrium and reception with marble floor and stained glass dome
* A smaller atrium is also located aft
* Four pools
* Five whirlpool spas
* Sports court inside the funnel
* Sports deck
* Computerised golf centre
* Deluxe health centre and spa
* Beauty parlour
* Theatre catering to 550 seated passengers
* Wood-paneled library
* Panoramic glass-walled elevators
* Cardroom
* Open-air teak promenade deck
* Casino
* Duty-free shopping
* Photo shop
* Children and teen centres
* Nightclub/disco
* Business centre
* 8 restaurants and cafes
* 7 deluxe lounges and bars