Ovation of the Seas was back in Sydney this week in time for the summer sun. She is hard to miss as she makes her way across the harbour towards the Sydney Heads and out to sea.
The North Star pod was getting a good work out as passengers vied for a unique sunset experience. The glass pod which can carry 14 people at a time extends 90 metres above sea level and provides 360 degree vistas. Not one for those afraid of heights but the view would certainly be breathtaking.
The fireworks have faded over Sydney harbour and revellers are sleeping off a big night after welcoming in 2018. You won’t find a better setting for a giant harbour party than Sydney. The Harbour Bridge and Opera House were the perfect backdrop for yet another fireworks spectacular.
Every day I am very lucky to be able to travel on the harbour and see the cruise ships which come calling. We are in the middle of the peak summer season now and most days there are multiple ships in Sydney. Here are a few of my shots from the past few weeks on 2017.
May 2018 bring even more cruise visitors down under. Happy New Year everyone!
Sydney’s newest ferry has finally been named after an online poll and it’s fair to say not everyone is feeling the love.
The public were invited to submit their ideas for names for the new fleet of six inner harbour ferries.
More than 15,000 Sydneysiders gave their suggestions. The first five ferries carry the names of prominent Indigenous Australians Bungaree and Pemulwuy, heart surgeon Victor Chang, eye surgeon Fred Hollows and obstetrician Catherine Hamlin.
So far so good – but it is the sixth vessel which has sent transport bosses into choppy waters.
The whole UK ‘Boaty McBoatface’ episode last year should have been a good predictor of what may happen here. So good in fact that when it came to our final ferry – the most nominated name turned out to be… drum roll please – “Boaty McBoatface”.
Boaty was ruled out as the name is taken so they opted for the next most popular pick – which has delivered us “Ferry McFerryface”.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.”
Not everyone is smiling – online the ABC dubbed the name a “stale, unimaginative insult”, Twitter is awash with outrage and indignation, while the Maritime Union says workers are so angry they won’t work on the ferry until it is given a new name.
But plenty of people like the name – they voted for it. Whether it’s cool or cringeworthy is still open for debate but it does go to show a little fun can leave some people ferry unimpressed.
It’s hard to believe Royal Caribbean has only had ships based in Australia for 10 years but this summer the cruise line is celebrating 10 year downunder.
Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) first Australian-based ship was the Rhapsody of the Seas which arrived in Sydney in October 2007 bringing competition for Carnival Australia. Within 3 years the line notched up a major milestone – in December 2010 welcoming the 100,000th passenger to travel on one of the line’s Australian based ships.
The fleet expanded in the years that followed. Radiance of the Seas arrived in 2011 and in 2012 Voyager of the Seas became the first ‘mega ship’ to be based in Australia. As demand for cruising in Australia boomed the 347m long Ovation of the Seas heralded the arrival of ‘supercruising’ in 2016.
RCI started with just 1 ship based here in Sydney but this year will have a fleet of 6 operating in Australian and New Zealand waters.
More than one million passengers have sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise in Australia or New Zealand in the past 10 years. According to RCI along the way those passengers have consumed a whopping 26,662,480,000 meals and polished off 460,000 bottles of champagne.
To celebrate Royal Caribbean’s 10th birthday in Australia I have compiled an album below of 10 of my best shots of the fleet in Sydney. I hope you enjoy and long may the royal visitors keep calling! #10YearsofRoyal
One of my favourite photos of all time on the harbour. The setting sun casts a golden glow over Voyager of the Seas. Photo. by: Jonathon Hall
In October 2010 I was lucky enough to attend the naming ceremony in Southampton of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth to cover the event for Cruising News & Pictorial magazine. The Queen was on hand to christen the ship which carries her name. After formally naming the ship the Queen pressed the button that sent a bottle of Cunard’s own private label Graves Rothschild smashing against the bow as streamers and trumpet fanfare filled the air. I was extremely lucky to snag a front row seat to watch the formalities. You can read my article about the day below.
Exciting news from Cunard with confirmation a new ship will be built for the line in Italy. It will join the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in 2022. Hopefully we may see a few of the Cunard Queens in Sydney more often! Check out the announcement at cunardline.com.au
It’s always a thrill to see a Cunard queen on Sydney harbour, none more so than the one and only Queen Mary 2. She always looks at home at Circular Quay. Her top speed is about 56kph and she carries 2,695 passengers in luxurious style wherever she goes. These shots were taken by me back in 2013.