Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) is to base one of its ships in Australian waters on a full-time basis, reflecting the growth of interest in cruising in the region. Although parent company Carnival Corporation owns P&O Australia with four ships serving the market, and Princess Cruises with two, this is the first time CCL has deployed a ship here.

The 2,667-passenger Carnival Spirit (2001/85,920gt), currently operating on the US West Coast on a variety of cruises to Alaska, Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera, is scheduled to arrive in Sydney in October 2012 to begin a programme of sailings to ports in the Pacific and New Zealand. At 52.6m above the waterline, she is too tall to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge so will turn around at Circular Quay’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, the city’s only cruise facility east of the bridge.

By the time she arrives, the market will have grown from being serviced full-time by two Carnival ships in 2007 to seven, the others being Pacific Sun, Pacific Pearl, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Dawn, Sun Princess and Dawn Princess.

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