In brief: Cruise March 2020 issue
Sapphire Princess heads down under early
SAPPHIRE Princess will call Australia home early, with Princess Cruises announcing a year-long deployment Down Under, beginning 1 May.
Set to arrive in Fremantle, 44 new cruises have been added from five Australian cities, with Sapphire arriving six months early due to COVID-19 concerns in Asia.
The ship’s Greatest Hits program will offer a range of itineraries, including visits to 102 rural ports, such as Exmouth and Geraldton, set to inject $140 million into the economy.
Highlights of the extended season include 171 port calls, and an inaugural circumnavigation of the country beginning in Adelaide.
Spectrum heading to Aus
Royal Caribbean International (RCL) will offer Australian bushfire first responders free cruises upon a redeployed Spectrum of the Seas, which is set to sail Australia.
The move comes in light of the ongoing COVID-19 issues in China, with the ship’s 5 and 13 March sailings from the country cancelled.
Sailing out of Sydney, further details on the cruises are yet to be announced by RCL, with the cruise line’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley saying, “we are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind…”.
LeisureCom buys Ecruising
Ecruising has joined LeisureCom Group, with founders Brett and Philippa Dudley announcing the sale of their stake in the company to private equity group Skybound Fidelis.
Started by Dudley in 2000, Ecruising was the first Australian travel agency to develop direct API connections with major cruise lines, and generated over $30m in sales during the last financial year.
In February 2016, Dudley expanded the business with the creation of high-end luxury travel brand Latitude 33, which forms part of the company’s boutique range of cruise products, and has also bene included in the sale.