Royal Caribbean Pushing for Port Change in Australia
Royal Caribbean International's home port in Australia may be shifting from Sydney Harbor to the industrial Port Botany some time in the future.
According to a report from Louise Goldsbury of CruiseCritic.com, Royal Caribbean has been in negotiations for more than three years to lay the groundwork for a cruise passenger terminal that would be built at Botany Bay, and the company has shown indications of more internal optimism.
Thank to a decrease in cargo ship traffic at Botany Bay, Royal Caribbean regional vice president Gavin Smith was thinking positive when he told Goldsbury, “The trade through Botany is not as bullish as in the past so I think we are closer to getting a result than ever before. I would say Botany is doable within a three to four year timeframe.”
Despite potential issues with airport clearance at Botany Bay for the taller vessels in the Royal Caribbean fleet, the company is pushing for this relocation project due to the lack of space and berths for its ships at Sydney Harbor.
Moving locations would inhibit some of the views of iconic landmarks found in the harbor — like the Opera House and Harbor Bridge — but Royal Caribbean would still book the ships to make their way past the landmarks before venturing into open sea.
Smith addressed the potential issue by telling CruiseCritic.com, “Our plan would be to depart Port Botany at 4 p.m. and then head out and around and into Sydney Harbor (at) about 6 p.m., stay in the harbor below Taronga Zoo for an hour to get the city skyline in the evening sun and then head back out to sea about 7 p.m.”
As reported by TravelPulse’s Patrick Clarke, Royal Caribbean is also examining expansion projects in other parts of Australia, including Port Kembla in Wollongong.
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