Royal Caribbean is moving Ovation of the Seas from China to the burgeoning Alaskan market in the summer of 2019.
The mega-ship, which will sail in Asian waters this season, is being moved after Norwegian Cruise Lines announced Norwegian Bliss will take on the Alaskan market.
Alaska is a hugely popular destination for cruise. And the moves represent a significant up-sizing in ships in the area.
The Ovation, able to carry up to 5,000 passengers, will operate seven-night sailings to Alaska out of Seattle after re-positioning from Sydney in the spring of 2019.
It was unclear last night whether she would be in Sydney for 2020.
Bliss also will be based in Seattle.
The two ships represent a sizeable step up in this market – an acknowledgement of the popularity of the destination.
Two other Sydney favourites – Royal Caribbean’s 138,194-ton Explorer of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ 121,878-ton Celebrity Solstice – were the largest in the area.
Princess has Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess on the route.
Ovation’s move to North America appears to be part of a step-down of capacity in the China market.
Demand for cruises in China has softened.
Princess Cruises announced recently that Majestic Princess, would redeploy to Australia for nearly eight months of the year.
Royal Caribbean’s new Alaska sailings on Ovation will be available to book the week of Dec. 11.