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Cruise Ship Spotting @ Circular Quay

Home > Sydney > Lists | Outdoor | Fun Things To Do | Free
by glenop (subscribe)
So much to little time to see it all.
Published March 10th 2013
Check out 8 of the world's most luxurious cruise ships

I never set out to be a Cruise Ship Spotter, it kind of just happened. One day a week my work would take me to the Rocks area of Sydney and seemingly every week a new massive cruise ship would be moored at the International Passenger Terminal. To say that they utterly dominate Sydney Cove is somehow somewhat inadequate.

There's always a sense of excitement with hordes of happy people with huge trolley suitcases milling around in anticipation of sailing the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean in five star luxury. Well, at the very least, a basic four bunk inside cabin with no windows.

The sheer size of these vessels is quite overwhelming. Impressive by any measure, I started recording their presence at Circular Quay. The amazing statistics of these luxury floating resorts that appear and disappear overnight is equally impressive.

Queen Mary 2

Cunard modestly describe the Queen Mary 2 as "the most magnificent ocean liner ever built". It is the biggest ship ever to berth at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and at 345 metres, it's 30 metres longer than the Celebrity Solstice.

Owner: Cunard Line
Cost: US $900 million
Occupancy: 2620
Crew: 1253
Tonnage: 148,528
Inaugural Date: 2004
Length: 345 mts
Beam: 41 mts
Cruise Speed: 30 knots
Decks: 17

Celebrity Solstice

Only slightly shorter than the grand Queen Mary 2, the Celebrity Solstice has a few more decks and crams in a few extra beds. It boasts a top deck manicured lawn for those land lubbers who miss walking barefoot on grass.

Owner: Celebrity Cruises
Cost: US $750 million
Occupancy: 2850
Crew: 1500
Tonnage: 122000
Inaugural Date: Nov 23, 2008
Length: 314 .86 mts
Beam: 36.88 mts
Cruise Speed: 24 knots
Decks: 19

Celebrity Millennium

A notch down in class from the Solstice is the Celebrity Millennium, although Celebrity Cruises claim the ship has been "Solsticized" with features such as the Celebrity Lounge, an ice-topped Martini Bar, the Café al Bacio & Gelateria and a Cellar Masters Wine Bar.

Owner: Celebrity Cruises
Occupancy: 2138
Crew: 920
Tonnage: 91,000
Inaugural Date: Jun 17, 2000
Length: 294 mts
Beam: 32 mts
Cruise Speed: 24 knots
Decks: 11

Pacific Pearl

The newest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet, the kid friendly Pacific Pearl's top deck features a giant LED Big Screen and an outdoor circus arena where jaw-dropping acrobatics are performed. At celebrity chef Luke Mangan's restaurant Salt Grill, you can try the delicate crab omelette or a liquorice parfait with lime syrup.

Owner: P&O Cruises
Occupancy: 1800
Crew: 700
Tonnage: 63, 875
Inaugural Date: 1987
Length: 247 mts
Beam: 32 mts
Cruise Speed 21.5 knots
Decks: 13

Rhapsody of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is full-on pampering with 8 pools, 8 bars, stateroom amenities such as flat-screen televisions, new bathrooms and an outdoor cinema screen. Can't keep still? Try the state-of -the-art fitness centre, with classes ranging from aerobics to kick-boxing and yoga.

Owner: Royal Caribbean
Occupancy: 2435
Crew: 765
Tonnage: 74,491
Inaugural Date: 19 May 1997
Length: 278.9 mts
Beam: 21.1 mts
Cruise Speed: 24 knots
Decks:11 decks

Carnival Spirit

The Carnival Spirit seems to be a family friendly affair. If the water park, mini-golf, two-deck fitness centre, jogging track and sports court is not enough activity, there are the pools and spas and games rooms. It has an incredible 16 bars. Could that be too many?

Owner: Carnival Cruises
Cost: US $375 million
Occupancy: 2,680
Crew: 961
Tonnage: 85,900
Inaugural Date: 29 April 2001
Length: 293.52m
Beam: 32.31 mts
Cruise Speed: 22 knots
Decks: 12

Voyager of the Seas

There are not many cruise ships that can match the Voyager of the Seas' 10 pools and 14 bars and lounges. When you're through swimming, you can conquer the rock-climbing wall or try out the ice-skating rink and mini-golf course.

Owner: Royal Caribbean International
Cost: US$650 million
Occupancy: 3,138
Crew: 1,181
Tonnage: 137, 276
Inaugural Date: 21 November 1999
Length: 311 mts
Beam: 47.4 mts
Cruise Speed: 23.7 knots
Decks: 15

MS Europa

The MS Europa may not look all that special and it is easily the smallest boat, I mean ship, I spotted. It is however the highest-rated cruise ship in the world according to the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Check out the crew to passenger ratio.

Occupancy: 408
Crew: 285
Tonnage: 28,890
Inaugural Date: 1999
Length: 198.60 mts
Beam: 24 mts
Cruise Speed: 21 knots
Decks: 7

Like many other things in life, cruise ship size is not everything.

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Why? Awesome. Spectacular. Amazing.
When: Cruise season
Where: Sydney
Cost: free
Your Comment
Mr G, I've been enjoying your articles, the one on the heritage buildings at Parra as well.
by pam (score: 1|57) 2398 days ago
The 'seabourn sojourn' is the highest level of cruising with an unmatched level of service, we were lucky to honeymoon onboard in the Amazon and Caribbean, the level of personal service surpassed even the scenery.
by mark (score: 1|10) 2154 days ago
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