Right now, Hervey Bay, Australia, is seeing the highest number of whales in 25 years. According to Wally Franklin of The Oceania Project there are a record number of whales migrating down the coast. In fact, he estimates 14,000 whales in the humpback population of eastern Australia. Franklin also strongly believes that this trend will continue into November, as mother humpbacks teach their calves how to breach, lob-tail, head-lunge, and pectoral-slap.
With whale-watching expeditions running until mid-November, there is still time to sign-up and see of the action yourself. For more information, click here.
Celebrity Cruises is heading to the land down under in a big way in the 2012-2013 season with one of its newest generation ships. Nearly-new 122,000 ton Celebrity Solstice will sail in Austraila and New Zealand waters starting in the summer of 2012 in a move that signals great confidence in the Austraila cruise market.
“Celebrity Solstice has satisfied guests around the world since we introduced her in 2008, and the obvious next step is to send her to Australia,” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “With this move, we are delivering another way for people to have the best vacation experience possible, in one of the most stunning geographic regions of the world.”2850-passenger Celebrity Solstice will sail from Sydney in New South Wales, Fremantle in Western Australia and Auckland in New Zealand, with cruises ranging from 12 to 18 nights in length.
At 63m high, Solstice is too tall to fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge so it will miss stopping at the new terminal at White Bay and instead berth at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay.
“Travelers around the world value their vacation time, and we want to give them more opportunities to enjoy Celebrity’s signature attributes, including the first Lawn Club and Hot Glass show at sea, more spacious staterooms, our AquaClass staterooms geared toward the spa enthusiast lifestyle, multiple specialty restaurants, the Celebrity iLounge and state-of-the-art entertainment, in more places. The culture and way of life in Australia and New Zealand are an ideal backdrop for our Solstice Class style and the overall onboard experience.”
Full details will be available on March 23, when bookings for Celebrity’s new 2012-13 Australia/New Zealand itineraries will open for sale. Bookings for the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century’s 2011-12 Australia/New Zealand cruises are open now.
Flickr photo by jemmingway