On Saturday 15 September, Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess sailed into her new homeport of Sydney Harbour through a jaw-dropping runway of flares to kick off the Australian summer cruising season. travelBulletin was on board for a special preview of the exciting things this Royal-class ship has to offer the local market.
Towering into the skyline, Majestic Princess cuts a regal silhouette. At 66m high, and 330m long, she is both longer than the Eiffel Tower is high, and taller than the height of the Sydney Opera House.
As Princess Cruises’ newest and most luxurious vessel, Majestic is the biggest in the fleet ever to visit Australian waters. The 143,000 tonne mega liner, with its capacity to carry 3,560 guests, ensures there is no doubt this ship is set to make waves In the Australian cruise industry.
“Majestic Princess is our third Royal-class ship, launched in April last year,” Stuart Allison, SVP, Princess Cruises told travelBulletin. “Cruise continues to enjoy momentous growth, which means both our onboard and offshore offerings are continually being enhanced — as the flagship of our fleet, she has close to five times as many suite and balcony staterooms than a ship would have had 15 years ago.”
“Enhanced” is just one way to explain how Majestic is breaking down the boundaries between land and sea. In addition to the ship’s incredible selection of everyday onboard eateries, guests can also choose to dine at its two Michelin-starred restaurants for a minimal extra fee. A five-course dinner at Harmony, a Cantonese-inspired restaurant designed by renowned chef Richard Chen costs just $35 per person, while a French-inspired offering at Chef Emmanuel Renaut’s La Mer sets customers back a minimal $45. “We aim to offer our guests a true taste of the world,” said food and beverage director, Karen McIntosh. “We want them to explore a world of different flavours, without having to leave the dining room.”
For those more inclined to kick back and relax, Majestic Princess boasts the largest thermal suite at sea. The Enclave forms part of the Lotus Spa — a day spa that takes up more than one third of Deck Five, where guests can de-stress in the Turkish Hammam, relax in the Laconium sauna, and enjoy the hydrotherapy pool before cooling down with sensory showers. An additional fee is incurred depending on the ship’s itinerary, however paying guests have unlimited use between 8am and 10pm for the duration of their cruise.
The ship offers other forms of escape, including a fully equipped gymnasium with endless ocean views, an outdoor exercise area where guests can get the blood pumping with the breeze on their skin, a variety of pools on the top deck where you can enjoy a swim during the day, or return at night for a viewing of Movies Under the Stars, with a different showing each evening.
During her inaugural six-month homeporting season from Sydney, Majestic Princess will sail on 16 cruises to destinations including Fiji, New Zealand and Tasmania, as well as two Asian voyages between Shanghai and Sydney, and Sydney and Hong Kong. Bookings for the vessel over the next six months are strong, with Princess confirming Majestic will return to Australia next year, and the cruise line already predicting strong growth across its entire fleet for the 2019/2020 season.
“We are already gearing up for our largest Australian and New Zealand deployment in history, which will see a record number of people cruising on Princess ships over the 2019/20 season,” said Allison. “The arrival of Ruby Princess, combined with news of Majestic‘s return before she has completed her maiden season here means we will have two of the four latest Princess ships sailing in this region, which speaks to the momentous growth of our market.”