Last updated: 10:21 AM ET, Sat October 29 2016

Carnival Spirit Switches 2018 Plans from China to Australia

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship Carnival Cruise Line Donald Wood October 28, 2016

Carnival Spirit Switches 2018 Plans from China to Australia

PHOTO: Carnival Spirit in Sydney Harbor. (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines)

In a surprise change, officials from Carnival Cruise Line have announced that the Carnival Spirit ship will be based out of Australia again in 2018 instead of the previously announced Chinese market.

According to Cruise Industry News, the cruise line will be sending the Carnival Spirit back to Australia following its scheduled dry dock in Singapore in May 2018 instead of spending the northern summer in China as originally announced.

The Carnival Spirit will be based in Sydney full time in 2018.

“Carnival Cruise Line has made the decision to keep Carnival Spirit based in Australia year-round in 2018 and not operate a summer cruise program in China as previously announced. This decision was based on the current success and popularity of the company’s Australia operation and associated capacity needs in that market,” the cruise line said in an official statement. “We continue to be excited about our plans to eventually operate in China and presently our sister cruise lines, including Costa and Princess, already have strong and highly successful cruise programs there. Carnival Spirit’s dry dock in Singapore planned for May 2018 remains as scheduled as does Carnival Spirit’s 19-night Sydney to Singapore voyage.”

As for the Carnival Spirit’s itineraries, the ship will host 35 cruises to and from Australia between April and December 2018, including two 19-night journeys between Sydney and Singapore. The cruises will go on sale Nov. 4.

“Australian guests and travel agents have truly embraced the fun of a Carnival cruise,” Carnival vice president Jennifer Vandekreeke said in a statement. “We recently welcomed our 500,000th guest onboard our local ships and our forward bookings are strong for next winter, so a decision has been made to keep Carnival Spirit in Australia throughout 2018. It's a sensible business move and we think it's one that will be very popular with loyal Australian customers.”

In addition to the changes for the Carnival Spirit's summer itinerary, the ship will also feature new winter cruises, including seven- and 12-night journeys to Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia; and three- and four-night sailings to Queensland's Moreton Island, according to

The Carnival Spirit isn’t the only ship sailing for the Australian market in 2018, as the Carnival Legend will return for its fifth summer season. The vessel will offer seven cruises in early 2018 and three more in November 2018.

For more information on the Carnival Cruise Line’s Australian itineraries, check out the company’s official website.