Royal Caribbean to Double Australia Capacity in 2011

Royal Caribbean International is going deep down under. The cruise line will double its capacity in Australia in 2011, homeporting two ships in Sydney starting in October. Rhapsody of the Seas, currently in its third Australian summer season, will be joined by Radiance of the Seas and offer cruises in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific during the summer months.
The announcement comes just 14 months after the Miami-headquartered company opened its Sydney office.

“The move is a demonstration of the strength of the local cruise market, and is in response to demand from American,  European and Asian visitors to experience Australia and our region onboard our cruise ships," said Gavin Smith, managing director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia. "The move will double the number of tourists the company brings to Australia each year to more than 30,000."
Royal Caribbean is focused on capturing a greater share of the Australian market: cruising by Australians will represent as much as five percent of the global cruise market by 2020. This according to Access Economics.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in demand from Australians for the Royal Caribbean International brand over the past year and this is something we are keen to build upon," Smith said.

Rhapsody of the Seas is currently sailing in Australasian waters and will depart for Alaska at the end of the season on April 12, returning in October this year for summer 2010-11.
The company will release itineraries for the two-ship 2011-12 cruise calendar in late March 2010.