Slow and steady, the MS Regatta cruise ship arrived in the Port of Newcastle on Thursday morning.
The Regatta is the flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet. This cruise ship has four restaurants, fitness center and spa, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 suites and staterooms.
The ship holds 684 guests and travels with 400 European staff. The Regatta is due to depart at 6pm.
CRUISE SHIP IN NUMBERS
- Built: 1998
- Refurbished: 2014
- Gross Tonnage: 30,277
- Length: 593.7 feet
- Beam: 83.5 feet
- Maximum Draught: 19.5 feet
- Stabilizers: Yes
- Cruising Speed: 18 knots
- Guest Decks: 9
- Total Decks: 11
This week luxury cruise liners Viking Cruises announced it will dock in Newcastle for the first time in November, allowing Hunter residents to board directly without having to travel to Sydney.
As the Scandinavian cruise company prepares to make its debut docking in Australia, the Port Of Newcastle is reviewing tenders for the construction of the $12.7 million Newcastle Cruise Terminal, slated for completion in late 2018. Read more here.
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CRUISING INTO NEWCASTLE
In recent years, the Hunter has established itself as a regular stop for floating palaces.
Newcastle has become the doorway to the Hunter for travellers arriving by sea – but less than a decade ago, ships were lingering in Port Stephens rather than berthing in Newcastle itself.
The Celebrity Solstice’s first visit in 2014 was one for the ages, as the Herald reported at the time.
Then lord mayor Jeff McCloy donned his robes to welcome passengers into the region as onlookers flocked to the harbour’s edge.
‘‘It was bloody amazing,’’ Mr McCloy said at the time.
‘‘I couldn’t believe the amount of locals along the foreshore who came out to welcome the ship in, and I couldn’t believe the reception we got from the passengers.
‘‘I think I posed for about 300 photos with [passengers]. They were really delighted with the reception we gave them.
“I met people from all over the world who said they never got that sort of reception in Brisbane or in Sydney.’’
The warm welcome worked – Celebrity Solstice returned to the Hunter.
What are your best memories of cruise ships in the Hunter?