Carnival Splendor cruise to service Australian guests year-round

  • 08/03/2018
Carnival Splendor at sea.
Carnival Splendor at sea. Photo credit: Supplied.

Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise operator, has announced its Carnival Splendor vessel is leaving Los Angeles for a new home in Australia.

President of Carnival Cruise Line Christine Duffy said the 3000-passenger cruise ship will be based at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal, sailing year-round in Australia from December 2019.

Duffy said the announcement reflects Carnival's "serious commitment" to the Australian market.

"We've had over 800,000 Australians cruise with Carnival since we launched in Australia just five years ago - a number that would fill the Sydney Cricket Ground 17 times over," she said.

However, Splendor's reputation on the high seas has been far from smooth sailing.

In 2010, passengers on a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise were left stranded adrift 80km off the Pacific coast after a fire in the engine room. US Navy officials were forced to helicopter supplies to the ship as it was towed back to San Diego, California.

Carly-Rae Jepson entertains crowds on-board Splendor.
Carly-Rae Jepson entertains crowds on-board Splendor. Photo credit: Supplied.

Before it arrives down under, Splendor is due for a revamp, which includes a complete upgrade during dry-dock, adding new dining experiences tailored to the local Australian tastes and a new water park.

An older Carnival ship, the smaller Carnival Spirit, has been based in Sydney since 2012. Reports had suggested Splendor would join the P&O Australia fleet, also owned by Carnival.

Carnival Splendor's first cruise from Sydney will be in December 2019 following a repositioning cruise from Singapore. Bookings for Splendor's 2019 sailings will open in March.

It's not yet known if Splendor will visit New Zealand.