The biggest cruise ship ever to visit Australia docked in Brisbane today, and it was quite a process.
The Ovation of the Seas, which is the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world at 348 metres in length, docked at Fisherman Island this morning because she was too big to fit under the Gateway Bridge to dock at Hamilton Wharf.
Adam Armstrong, Royal Caribbean’s MD for Australia and New Zealand, told Travel at 60 that the company, which operates the Ovation, had been working with port authorities closely before the ship’s arrival, even going to far as to do simulation exercises to prepare for docking. She was escorted in by the port authority pilot.
“While the ship’s crew makes it look easy, there’s a lot of preplanning that goes into locking a large ship like Ovation of the Seas into Brisbane,” he says.
The ship, which is due to leave Brisbane at 5pm today, is part-way through a 14-night Sydney-to-Singapore voyage. After leaving Brisbane at 5pm today she’ll sail on to Darwin, arriving next Tuesday, and then on to Port Klang in Malaysia before arriving in Singapore on March 6.
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There’s no lack of entertainment for passengers – Ovation of the Seas, which boasts 18 decks, can carry 6,500 passengers and crew – with bumper cars, a trapeze school, a Flowrider surfing experience, a robotic Bionic Bar and iFly sky-diving facilities on offer.
Ovation also has a North Star viewing capsule that can take guests more than 90 meters in the air for a view of the surroundings. For foodies, there’s 18 dining options, including a Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant.
According to The Courier Mail, the stopover in Brisbane is expected to inject about $650,000 into the local economy.
Ovation is less than a year old and cost more than $1 billion to build. Royal Caribbean’s Armstrong says she’s next due back in Brisbane on March 28, 2018.
What do you like about cruising? Does a huge ship with loads of entertainment appeal to you? Would you like to travel on the Ovation of the Seas?